The Cubs made the perfect hire when they tapped David Ross as their manager.
There were plenty of people who wanted to see the Cubs go with an external candidate in their managerial search this offseason. A breath of fresh air, a new set eyes – all that. But after less than a week at Summer Camp, David Ross is reinforcing the fact that he was the only man for the job.
Let’s rewind a bit first. After riding off into the sunset, the former big league backstop has done it all: he made it to the Dancing With the Stars finale, worked for ESPN as a broadcaster and, in the last two years, served under Theo Epstein in the front office, learning the ins and outs of the organization.
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Replacing a manager of Joe Maddon’s stature is no easy feat. But given Maddon’s recent questionable comments related to players who choose to opt out of the 2020 season – it looks like, yet again, Epstein made the right call cutting ties and moving on from the three-time Manager of the Year.
Meanwhile, Ross has said and done all the right things as his players continue their Summer Camp workouts at Wrigley Field. He’s unfailingly had their backs and really peached open and honest communication – creating a positive environment in the midst of a very uncertain and stressful situation given the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several Cubs players voiced concerns over testing (or the lack thereof) to Ross during workouts in recent days – and he made that point perfectly clear in his communications with the league, which maintains it’s working to improve the process as quickly as possible.
"“(MLB) has assured me they’re working as diligently as they can and understand they’re falling short in some areas, but they’ve assured me they’re cleaning things up,” Ross said."
The first-year manager said a ‘red flag’ went up in his mind given how many guys were asking about testing already and, of course, he did something about it and went straight to MLB. Not just that, but Ross is already considering ways to keep his guys safe and comfortable during the 60-game sprint, considering taking morning BP at Wrigley for the Cubs’ road series against Milwaukee and the White Sox this summer.
There’s a lot more than creating an accountable, communication-oriented environment that’s needed to be a successful big league skipper. But there’s a lot of good things coming out of Summer Camp at the Friendly Confines so far – and it seems to be starting with the new man at the helm of the Cubs.