During a time of uncertainty and stress for several players, new Chicago Cubs manager David Ross has impressed as a leader for the team.
The official first day of Chicago Cubs preseason camp took place Friday at Wrigley Field, signaling the start of the 60-game 2020 season. For the time being, all players on the roster are expected to participate despite justified concerns from players regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Shortly after attending batting practice, Anthony Rizzo told ESPN Cubs beat Jesse Rogers that while he is here to play, he has some trepidation about participating in baseball this season.
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David Ross has a lot to deal with his first season as an MLB manager. While he understands the health risks and worries, he is embracing the desire to win even in a short season. A few days ago, he was quoted by NBC Chicago’s Tim Stebbins, saying, “If they are passing out a trophy, I want it.”
Ross addressed the media from Wrigley Field for the first time Friday and laid out what the coming days will look like. He mentioned an inter-squad scrimmage Saturday with pitchers facing live batters. As the Cubs continue with baseball activities, there will likely be growing concerns among the team. Ross, as the man in charge, will continue to have to be the leader, and so far, he has done very well with that.
Managing the team early on at different times.
Ross has made sure to keep everyone’s spirits at camp up and expressing the joy he feels to be back at Wrigley Field. A few days ago, Tony Andracki from Marquee Sports said Ross told his teammates to keep a positive vibe and look at the best. Chicago Sun-Times reporter Steve Greenberg quoted Ross saying, “We’ve got this gorgeous, historic venue to work from. It’s nice to come to work. – We’ve missed baseball.” He then was encouraging his players with chants as they were practicing on the field.
With all of that, he is taking everything very seriously in terms of safety for his staff. Putting in new protocols and following them strictly is going to be a must, and Ross has been enforcing the importance of it. He mentioned not being able to go out to bars, how many players are on the field at once, and the process of entering the ballpark being very particular with multiple temperature screens.
Ross said they’ll not be able to go to bars as they have ‘high-risk’ teammates. He also said they would be extremely selfish of them, as well. h/t Patrick Mooney, The Athletic
It is easier said than done for a rookie manager to keep a positive vibe around the club while enforcing the numerous safety protocols and rules in place. So far, he seems to have shown excellent leadership to his team. It is much needed to have a positive yet cautious leader during this time. In the end, the health of the team is priority number one, but motivating his team to get ready for baseball as long as everything is safe is a big part of the job.
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The reputation of David Ross certainly helps earn the respect of his fellow coaches and players. It will still take the work and hard efforts from him to build that respect and make the environment safe and positive.