And now the statement from Epstein:
I've made my stance clear on this matter over the past couple of months, and only have a few things to add. First, let me say that in my opinion the public apology, and acceptance of responsibility by Russell was long past due. Everyone will need to decide for themselves whether they consider it too little too late, a step in the right direction, or a written statement even enough.
Second, the statement issued today by the organization, as well as those previously made since Russell's ex-wife went public with her account, can be interpreted in many ways in regard to whether Addison Russell will ever suit up for the Chicago Cubs, I do not believe that today's decision has moved the needle much, if at all. While it is the opposite of the decision I advocated for, it was always my belief that the Cubs would make this procedural step. If I can highlight one pertinent passage in the statement from Epstein it would be this:
"While this decision leaves the door open for Addison to later make an impact for us on the field, it does not represent the finish line nor rubber-stamp his future as a Cub."
Finally, I will say that I take them at their word regarding the responsibility they feel to help Russell. The Cubs must consider though, that even if Russell makes enough genuine progress turning around his life for them to consider extending him a second chance, they may still be best served by making that second chance take place elsewhere. I say that because in the eyes of many fans, the organization itself has already blown two chances on past decisions regarding former players Starlin Castro and Aroldis Chapman under similar circumstances. Some may not be inclined to offer them a third so soon, regardless of the organization's and/or Russell's sincerity. It is at least something they need to take into account.