Chicago Cubs: David Ross’ challenges with a shortened season

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

As a shortened season could become a reality, Chicago Cubs new skipper David Ross is going to face a handful of challenges.

The fate of whether or not Chicago Cubs baseball will be played in 2020 is still uncertain. If the Major League Baseball (MLB) owners and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) happen to work out a deal to appease both sides, a second spring training could begin in early June.

Hypothetically, it could run for around three weeks, and the season could begin as early as July. While this is an excellent idea to think, nothing is set in stone. These talks have been going on for two weeks, and a deal has not been made thus far, but rumor has it that a deal could be agreed upon by the end of this week.

With this in mind, there are a lot of different adjustments that would be made to comply with a shorter season. For instance, there would be an expanded playoff format and safety protocols for both players and team personnel to follow. Not only that, but there are also talks of an 82-game regional schedule, the implementation of the universal DH, and 30-man active rosters with a 20-player taxi squad. There is no denying that it is going to be challenging for players, team personnel, and anybody involved to adjust to the given circumstances.

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One member of the Cubs who is bound to face a handful of challenges with a shortened season is new manager David Ross. Ross, 43, spent 136 days as Cubs manager between being introduced to the media and the shutdown of spring training. With spring training set to resume, so will Ross’ tenure as manager, and he is going to have several things on his plate. While Ross does have experience being a part of the Cubs’ organization, the transition from player to manager would be a challenging one during any season, let alone a shortened season.

Also, instead of learning how to manage during a regular season, Ross is going to need to conform to the uncertainty that is today’s new normal in many ways. One of these ways is that he will become one of the primary figures that players will look to for reassurance during a confusing time, especially with the team’s current financial situation. Due to the lack of income that would typically come from fans at the ballpark and having a regular season, the Cubs need money fast. Now, what does this mean?

This means players, including Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo, Willson Contreras, and Kyle Schwarber could be sold or traded, who knows. With these finances in mind, Ross is going also to have to make the tough decisions about who stays, and who (if anyone) goes without even managing a regular-season game thus far.

In regards to team personnel and staff, including Ross, it has already been announced that Chicago Cubs employees will be taking pay cuts in June, and with such an uncertain future who’s to say that there won’t be furloughs this summer?

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The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest challenge that everyone is facing right now. Everyone realizes that the global pandemic we are living through is more significant than baseball, and hopefully, things will only get easier from here.

As Ross resumes his tenure as skipper, I am sure he will be able to conquer all of the challenges ahead of him. Between his prior experience in the big leagues, his time in the booth as an analyst, and his involvement with the Chicago Cubs organization, nobody is more fit for the job than Grandpa Ross, and I cannot wait to see what he brings to the table.