Chicago Cubs: Accountability and sometimes brutal honesty
Everyone knew it was going to happen eventually and I even mentioned this when Ross first got the job. Ross is about to have some serious conversations with his former teammates and begin to hold them accountable going forward.
Who better to tell Cubs players that they’re not throwing the ball worth a spit or couldn’t hit a volleyball if it came over the plate, than their old friend and catcher? They can’t lie or hide from him, he knows them and what they are capable of doing. He knows if they’re injured and he knows if they’re ready.
I believe Ross was hired for just this reason: he is the ultimate person to hold players and the team accountable because he gave it all for the team in 2016 and the team won. There is no better example or teacher that can hold the Cubs players accountable right now, than Ross.
And that will shock many guys this spring.
Ross is going to call each of them in and tell them the truth and it won’t be easy. It won’t be easy for Cubs shortstop Javier Baez to be told he swings at everything thrown and should walk more. It won’t be easy for Ross to tell his friend and first baseman Anthony Rizzo, he needs more leadership from him. It will be hardest for Ross to tell his old friend Jon Lester, that his run of bad pitching last season happened in excess because he stopped believing in himself and his team.
Ross will tell them the truth and the players will believe it, because they trust Ross already. It won’t make the conversations an easier but Ross is already getting prepared by talking with contacts around the league.
That said, Ross added that he hopes some of what the Cubs’ players experience this spring comes as a shock after the past five seasons under Joe Maddon. Accountability is a real thing to Ross and he fully understands that management hired him to put players in their place and enact consequences for stepping out of line. Ross says it’s about the quality of bats and communicating what you want and expect to see from players and most importantly, communicating when that expectation is not being met.
Accountability can mean sitting a player, fining a player and even sending him down to Triple-A Iowa. Ross knows that there is no time for second chances, the Cubs must perform or be held accountable if they are going to make a run at the championship this season, not next.
Ross says he thinks the team has a chance to win the division and the World Series. I’m glad that he feels confident and knows what he must do to shock the Cubs and get them off and running this spring. We all want to see it.
Fans are anxious to see if Ross will put his money where his mouth is and deliver; especially when daily predictions and reports about the Cubs this offseason have been summed up as, ‘mass chaos.’