Cubs: Veteran Jason Kipnis could be Cubs 2020 David Ross
Chicago Cubs: Hiring a 2020 David Ross-type mentor
One of the biggest reasons that Ross was hired as the new Cubs manager had to do with his mentorship of the players in the dugout when he was still a player. Ross quickly calmed young nerves and set expectations as the veteran on the bench when he was one of the boys. When Ross showed up in the Cubs dugout, he brought 12 years of experience on seven different teams!
Kipnis brings nine years of experience with the same team, but interestingly enough, he can bring a fresh perspective to the 2020 Cubs of what made the 2016 Cubs so special. He can give insights about what he and other teams thought about the Cubs in 2016 to rekindle that spirit and enthusiasm. So it’s entirely possible that the Cubs just hired the 2020-version of Ross, the player, in Kipnis.
Since the squad won the Championship in 2016, one week before spring training begins, I like to watch this video of the Championship run. It puts me in the mood for the season, reminds me that anything is possible, and immediately evokes the spirit of teamwork, which was so evident in that squad.
While watching this year, I was keenly aware, because of the rumors, that Kipnis could be coming to the team, and I was anxious to pay ‘extra’ attention to what he said about that Championship, his feelings and thoughts.
As he spoke about the awe of playing the historical series in Wrigley Field, I was impressed by Kipnis. I began to recall all those times he came to bat, and I held my breath because of his propensity to get on base. It would be untrue to say I wasn’t worried when Kipnis was next in the lineup against the Cubs.
While Kipnis might end up someday soon being the veteran voice of the Cubs, it was his boyhood love of the game, which made me a fan. Maybe Kipnis will not be the scraggly old soothsayer veteran akin to the Ross legacy but another Ben Zobrist-type player that wants to keep playing baseball and making a difference. The difference between Zobrist and Kipnis is simple. Zobrist’s teammates called him a ‘Boyscout,’ and Kipnis teammates in Cleveland called him the ‘Dirtbag.’ But why?