Cubs News: Why David Ross is a Manager of the Year candidate
The Chicago Cubs’ David Ross has gotten the team to buy into all the safety protocols for the 2020 season–and is also winning baseball games.
Being a first-year manager is never an easy feat. In 2020, I can imagine it is only more stressful. The COVID-19 pandemic has made everything more difficult, not excluding managing ball clubs, and we’ve seen already the good, bad, and ugly across the league. The Chicago Cubs‘ David Ross has been one of the good thus far on, and off, the diamond, and I believe he is the clear Manager of the Year candidate.
As we have seen with the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals, some players are not following safety protocols and placing their teammates and other players in the league in danger. Right or wrong, the player’s non-compliance is a bad look for Don Mattingly and Mike Shildt, and the Cubs compliance (Ex: the social distanced walk-off celebration last week) to COVID-19 guidelines should equally reflect positively on Ross.
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Not only are the 2020 Cubs respectful of the rest of the league in their cautious approach to COVID-19, but they are also entirely disrespecting the competition on the diamond.
The Cubs are first in the National League with 12 quality starts through 18 games. Two-thirds of Cubs games are resulting in quality starts. All of the quality starts have resulted in a 13-5 record, which has resulted in the best record to start a season for any Cubs team since 1907. Of course, with the shortened season, 18 games played means that the season is a third finished. This makes Ross’ managed team look even better.
Ian Happ is also worth considering. Happ started hot and was awarded the opportunity to be named the everyday centerfielder. The implications of the first-year manager placing trust in Happ to play every day are tremendous when you think of the way Joe Maddon managed a year ago.
Maddon refused to name a starter for almost any position the entire year, and I believe the outcome was a team that felt a lack of confidence from their skipper. David Ross addressing the media, straightforwardly boost the confidence that Joe Maddon could have broken down.
Ross has gotten the 2020 Cubs off to a scorching start. With a third of the season already over and the extended playoffs, the odds of the team making it into the postseason his first year as a manager are looking high. With all the positives surrounding this club, there is one apparent major issue that needs to be addressed to make a deep playoff run; the bullpen has been horrendous.
I believe that Ross is in the talks for Manager of the Year even with the bullpen issues, but if he can figure them out, there is no question that the discussions will become much more than just talk.
Editors Note: The Cubs were 13-5 as of this post