Chicago Cubs: Five areas David Ross will improve in 2020
Chicago Cubs: If he can keep Big Jon in line, he can keep anyone in line
Everyone knows that the surly left-hander isn’t overly happy to come out of games at times. One of Jon Lester‘s most endearing qualities is his toughness and willingness to compete at all times. Being a bulldog on the mound and in life, where he has already beaten cancer, is what has brought Lester to the cusp of a discussion about him and Cooperstown.
Ross has already handled the big lefty for the better part of a decade, both in Boston and Chicago, and knows better than anyone what makes his buddy tick. While Ross has undoubtedly made the call (from behind a face mask) to usher Lester out of games before, walking out to the mound from the dugout rather than from behind home plate will put an added pressure and focus on their relationship.
Knowing how professional and competitive each is from watching their interactions independent of a supervisor/worker relationship, they’ll figure out a way to make it work. As Lester has already gone on the record to say, he “expects Ross to make an example out of him in both good and bad ways” and “what you see is what you get with Rossy.” For his part, Ross is on the record as saying he’s “probably too honest” with Lester, but that the pitcher is “a great example for all the guys and he is ready to work as soon as he steps in the door.”
Regardless of their past feelings and current relationship, you can expect both guys to continue to compete and work together to win ballgames- they’ll just be doing in a little big different way this time around. And, given the fact that Lester is coming off of a down year, you can expect him to be even more fired up and motivated to get back to the top– all the while with Ross doing his best Yoda impression from the dugout.