Chicago Cubs: David Ross could pull “double duty” in future
Chicago Cubs catcher, David Ross, has already stated that he plans on returning to the team for the 2016 season, but he and the Cubs may be best served to officially take on his unofficial role as a coach for the team.
Current bench coach and right-hand man to current Cubs manager, Joe Maddon, Dave Martinez, is rumored to be a candidate for the vacant Los Angeles Dodgers managerial role.
Martinez’s value to Maddon and the Cubs cannot go unnoticed as he is an extension of Maddon. In an interview conducted by David Laurila of Fangraphs.com, Martinez gave some insight into his role with Joe Maddon.
"“I do everything Joe does, except I don’t have to deal with the media and I don’t get credit for anything. I help manage the game the way I see fit. I’m very opinionated and give Joe my opinions. Ultimately he makes the final decisions, but I do the best I can to manage the games alongside him.”"
Ross has shown the makeup of what is needed to be a big league coach as it is, why not take on the role now?
While being a player-coach isn’t common, it also isn’t unheard of. Some of the more well-known names to wear both hats are: Joe Torre (1977 New York Mets), Pete Rose (1984-86 Cincinnati Reds), Frank Robinson (1975 Baltimore Orioles) and Ty Cobb (1921-26 Detroit Tigers).
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Even the Chicago Cubs have had several player-managers in their history books. Cap Anson, who was a player-manager for over 20 years, did so with the Cubs from 1876-1897. In 1962, during the Chicago Cubs’ infamous “College of Coaches” era, El Tappe would be a player-manager during the season.
Ross’ value on the field of play may not be what a lot of fans would like, but you cannot take away the value that he adds to the pitching staff, the clubhouse, and the dugout as a leader to a very young team.
It would be very easy for a very young team that played as well as this past season’s Cubs’ team played to get caught up in the hype; having leaders like Ross on the club allows Maddon to continue to do his day-to-day work as a manager and not get caught up in the “babysitting” role.
There is little doubt that Ross will, at the very least, be a coach one day in Major League Baseball, why not get his feet wet while helping this young Cubs team reach its full potential on the field as well? It seems like a win-win scenario for everyone involved.