Chicago Cubs: The adventures of Mike Napoli and David Ross

David Ross, Chicago Cubs (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
David Ross, Chicago Cubs (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

David Ross is entering his first season as the manager of the Chicago Cubs. He brought a familiar face to his coaching staff in former teammate Mike Napoli to serve as a quality assurance coach.

The Chicago Cubs’ Mike Napoli and David Ross have a history together. They were teammates on the 2013 World Series champion Boston Red Sox, and they played against each other during the 2016 World Series, where Ross’ Cubs beat Napoli’s Indians. Terry Francona has also managed both players at one point in their careers.

Napoli gained a reputation as a clubhouse leader, and Ross gained a reputation as a clubhouse mentor for younger players over the latter stages of his career. Both players played catcher, but Napoli later moved to first base in the latter stages of his career.

That’s why, when Ross was assembling his coaching staff, Napoli came to his mind for many reasons, according to Cubs’ staff writer Jordan Bastian. Ross wanted Napoli to have a hand in as many facets of the club as possible.

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"“Nap is my swiss army knife,” Ross told Bastian during an interview for “He’s fresh off the field, so he’s relatable to the players."

Napoli and Ross on the field, though, could not be more opposite of players. Napoli was a slugger, cranking out 267 home runs, including two 30 home-run seasons, with his career-high of 34 coming in 2016.

Napoli was mostly a forgettable defender behind the plate, racking up -40 DRS as a catcher, which is probably a big reason he was moved off the position.

Ross was a forgettable hitter, with his most noteworthy thing being the 106 career home runs he hit. He had a career 92 wRC+ and had an outstanding 52 DRS behind the dish.

Napoli was previously interviewed for the 2019 bench coach job with the Cubs before the role went to Mark Loretta, and Napoli ultimately decided to stay away from baseball for 2019. He seems like a natural fit for a David Ross coaching staff, given how the two know each other so well.

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These two are a match made together. Ross and Napoli are like two peas in a pod, cut from the same piece of cloth, etc. This is a new era of Cubs baseball, and it’s a new experience for everyone involved from the fans down to the coaches. We should all be excited about what the future holds.