We are going to take a quick break from criticizing Matt Nagy and Mitch Trubisky to bring you some exciting news from the great city of Chicago.
Sources are reporting that Chicago’s favorite Grandpa, David Ross, will be announced as the next manager of the Chicago Cubs on Thursday. This decision comes after both Ross and Astros bench coach Joe Espada were brought in for second interviews in the past week.
Before we move on, I had convinced myself that I wanted Espada over Ross. I did not have an extremely strong feeling towards one or the other but my preference was Espada. I liked that Espada was going to be a new face and he seemed to have balanced the analytics with his eyeballs throughout his coaching career. With that being said, I put my faith in Theo Epstein. He has failed me a bit lately but he is 1/1 with managerial hirings so I have no choice but to trust him.
As I said, I had no strong preference here. I think David Ross brings a lot to the table that Espada doesn’t. First, he has a strong relationship with many of these players as all of you know. He was always looked at as more of a mentor/coach than a teammate. Here is what Kris Bryant said about Rossy a few months ago:
“I’ve always looked at Rossy as a coach when he played here,” Bryant said in late September. “Yeah, it was goofy, it was fun, it was energetic, but when he needed to tell you something, he let you hear it. From the very get-go, I felt like this guy will be a manager someday.”
Ask any member of this team that was part of the 2016 Cubs and they will all share the same sentiment about Ross. He will walk into this clubhouse on day 1 and already have the respect of his players. That is very important for a new manager.
Second, David Ross knows this front office. He has been a member of it for the past three seasons. He understands the direction Theo and Company want to go. He knows what to expect from them. He saw what caused tension between Joe and the front office, hopefully he can learn from that quickly.
There are a few concerns. The one I think most Cubs fans echo the most is he will do whatever Theo and Company say. This is one that I will admit does worry me a bit. My only glimmer of hope is they have worked together before both in a business and player setting. David Ross clearly knows how all of this is run. My one hope is that Theo lets Rossy be Rossy. I want David Ross to have managerial control. I do not want any sort of hand holding just because it is his first job.
Another concern that people have is that Ross has never managed a big league team before. I will put this one to rest real quick for you folks at home. The team representing the National League in the World Series is the Washington Nationals. Their manager was the previous bench coach for your Chicago Cubs, this is his first year managing a big league team. The 2018 Boston Red Sox won the World Series. Alex Cora’s first year managing a Major League team was in 2018 with the Boston Red Sox. Stop that narrative now.
At the end of the day, let’s be happy this managerial search ended so quickly. Most of the issues were never with the manager. Okay, Joe didn’t know how to manage a bullpen. That was an issue, no doubt about it. Guess what? The new manager was a catcher in the big leagues for 15 years, he knows a thing or two about pitching staffs. The issues are on the field, Theo can now shift his focus to fixing what is most important.
David Ross is a leader and a motivator of men. He garners respect every single time he walks in the room. He is not going to stand for anything less than the best from this team. I know it is hard after the last few seasons but trust in the front office that ended the longest curse in sports. David Ross is our guy, either support him or go root for another team.