Cubs manager David Ross has room to improve in his second year at the helm.
There is no denying Chicago Cubs skipper David Ross was stellar in his first season managing the club, especially under the conditions he had to manage in. The 2020 season only consisted of 60 games, and both players and coaches had to abide by different rules than what they were used to. Between rule changes such as the implementation of the universal DH, having a runner on second to begin extra innings along with others, the 2020 season was a challenge to navigate, to say the least.
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Not only that, Ross had absolutely no prior experience managing or even coaching a professional baseball club. With all things considered, Ross was a solid skipper, and I am definitely not the only one who thought so. Ross began the 2020 season owning a 13-3 record, and though the team went 21-23 later on, they still won the NL Central division title and appeared in the postseason. After the season came to a close, Ross was considered for the National League Manager of the Year Award.
Ross finished in third place behind San Diego Padres’ manager Jayce Tingler who finished in second, and the Miami Marlins’ Don Mattingly who won the award. The fact that Ross was selected as a finalist alone showed how much he accomplished across his tenure as manager thus far. Looking back on Ross’s season, Ross did his job quite well. He was able to handle everything from the team’s dismal offense to the improvements on the pitching side of things, especially the bullpen that improved greatly throughout 2020.
While Ross had a great run in 2020, there is still room for him to improve looking towards 2021. If you ask me, one of the spots where he could improve next season would be separating his former player self from his manager self. It is no secret that Ross was formerly teammates with many of the players that ended up still being on the team under his management. As a result, he formed bonds with these players as the teammates and he needed to work at asserting himself as their manager.
Yes, this led to Ross getting along with his players well but on the other hand, it also led to Ross being overly patient with them and trusting their abilities a bit too much before stepping in with his own input. I believe if Ross is a little bit more assertive and is a bit more aggressive with pushing his ideas and narratives in 2021, the team could be in better shape with his leadership.
After all, Ross has done such an exceptional job at managing thus far, he will only get better from here especially if he works towards improving in 2021.