Chicago Cubs manager David Ross refutes recent Willson Contreras story
Chicago Cubs fans may have gotten a look behind the scenes last weekend when The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal ran a featured story on former Cubs' catcher Willson Contreras. Contreras is now with the St. Louis Cardinals but in Rosenthal's story, the indication was made that Ross was not in favor of the catcher returning to the Cubs after the 2022 season.
Ross was interviewed on Friday during an appearance on "The Mullly and Haugh Show" on 670 The Score. Ross was asked about Rosenthal's report and offered a strong rebuttal.
"“I didn’t see any facts in there that Ken wrote,” Ross said. “And I respect Ken’s ability and what he’s done in this game. But I love Willson. I don’t have any bad things to say about Willson. As a former catcher, I would give real pause to anybody questioning game calling and preparation. Unless you’ve caught, you should never be commenting on those things. I think Willson is a championship-caliber catcher. That’s why he got such a big contract. I think the industry showed you what kind of worth he has. He's a brother for life for me, World Series brother. I don’t have any negative things to say about Willson."- David Ross via 670 The Score
The truth regarding the fractured relationship between the Cubs and Contreras will probably never be known in true context. At this stage, both sides are operating in different manners. For the Cubs, the team is usually tight-lipped in regard to information leaking from their organization.
But, if you look at the actions the Cubs have made at the catcher position, it is clear that was some frustration with how Contreras handled the team's pitching staff. The first sign was the fact that the team signed veteran catcher Yan Gomes to a two-year deal last offseason. Gomes has earned the reputation of being excellent at managing a pitching staff and that was evident last season as nearly all of the Cubs' pitchers were more effective with Gomes as their catcher than they were with Contreras.
The second sign was by reviewing the type of catchers that the Cubs were targeting this offseason. Tucker Barnhart, Omar Narvaez, and Christian Vazquez were the primary targets that the Cubs had at the catching position this offseason. Ultimately, the team signed Barnhart given, like Gomes, the reputation he had in working with a team's pitching staff.
Meanwhile, there is no doubt that Contreras wears his emotions on his sleeve. Contreras is not one to shy from sharing his opinion and that will likely continue now as he is with the Cardinals. With the Cubs and Cardinals set to play 13 times this season, the end of the drama between Contreras and his former team may not be near.