The 2023 Chicago Cubs have drawn comparisons to the 2014 Chicago Cubs.
There were clear signs at the end of the 2014 season that while the team did not make the post-season, there was a very realistic chance that they would in 2015. That would be the reason why the team jumped at the opportunity to hire Joe Maddon as their new manager after 2014 concluded and replaced the manager that got them to the brink of contention in Ricky Renteria.
Entering the 2023 season, there were questions surrounding Ross' ability to manage a team with expectations and while he should be credited for pulling the right levers in July in terms of getting the season back on track, the collapse of the team and their post-season hopes this past September also fall at his feet.
While there was never any real doubt to the idea that Ross would return as manager of the Cubs for the 2024 season, Cubs' president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer seemed to have provided that confirmation on Tuesday while speaking with reporters.
The true test for Ross will come during the 2024 season.
While there is a sense of disappointment over the fact that the Cubs missed the post-season after their chances were over 90% at the beginning of the final month of the regular season, this was never a team that was constructed for a post-season run.
Sure, the deadline acquisitions of Jeimer Candelario and Jose Cuas were meant to assist the Cubs in their effort to make the post-season, but there were legitimate questions surrounding the construction of the team's bench and bullpen.
For Ross, his tendency to bunt and give up outs has been a topic of conversation over the past month. Coupling that with his questionable lineup decision such as leaving Ian Happ in the No. 3 spot for as long as he did has brought to light whether or not Ross would be able to adapt to situations in an efficient manner.
There will be a need for Ross to be more open to change in 2024 if he is going to prove that he can be the manager of a team with legitimate post-season hopes.