Russell's ex-wife, Melisa Reidy, alleged physical and emotional abuse and cooperated with an investigation led by Major League Baseball.
Chicago Cubs infielder Addison Russell returned from suspension on Wednesday, striking out in his first at-bat to a chorus of boos and a smattering of applause in his first game in a big league uniform since September 19.
The Cubs recalled Russell from Triple-A Iowa, then started him at second base Wednesday night and in the eighth spot in the batting order against Miami. And while he was at home, the Wrigley Field faithful didn't exactly greet him with open arms.
Russell's return was met with mixed reaction from fans. In addition, Daniel Descalso is limited to pinch-hitting duty through at least Thursday because of a sore left foot.
As part of his suspension, the 25-year-old Russell had to go through counseling.
"I just want to own that what I did was wrong, and inexcusable, and I'm sorry; sorry for the pain and hurt that I put Melisa through".
While there were cheers in support of Russell, most reporters at the game concluded they were outweighed by the boos.
Maddon and several players gave Russell a warm greeting when he arrived three hours before the game.
With the suspension starting on September 21 of last season, the infielder was eligible to return to the Cubs prior to this past weekend's series with the Cardinals. "I'm continuing my therapy, and I know I'm making great strides". And, of course, I want what's better for my family and I want what's best for this team.
"If there's an additional burden on him, additional scrutiny on him and other things he has to deal with, that's part of the process", said Epstein, reiterating that there is no finish line to Russell's rehab to become a better person.
As the front office boss stresses, there is still a long road ahead for Russell as he continues to clean up his image.
Epstein revealed that before deciding to tender Russell a contract for 2019, he sought numerous experts who unanimously said a zero-tolerance policy wasn't effective under the circumstances.