MESA, Ariz. – One of the Cubs’ biggest supporters of Chicago’s ban this week on smokeless tobacco in ballparks is also one of the Cubs’ better-known dippers in the clubhouse, shortstop Addison Russell.
“I think it’s a good thing for baseball,” said Russell of the ban that already exists in other major league cities such as Boston and San Francisco. “At the end of the day it’s going to better our health.
“You think about 162games, and you have a full lip most of those innings; your health can get significantly better if you just go a year without that stuff. So I’m all for it.”
Russell, who was married in the offseason and has a small child, already was trying to cut down, he said.
“I only hit a few doubles last year, but you definitely can feel it,” said Russell, who developed the habit “trying to fit in” with older players in high school. “If you have a big pinch in your lip you’re gassed a little bit. If you have a piece of bubble gum in your mouth, you’re not sucking wind as much.”