After getting votes of confidence from not only Jed Hoyer, but Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, at season's end, there was probably no one caught more off-guard by the team's hiring of Craig Counsell than David Ross.
Ross, who had one more year left on his contract, found out he was out of a job in a face-to-face meeting with Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer this week at his home in Tallahassee, and in his first comments since his dismissal, expressed nothing but gratitude to the organization.
"There was a lot of people who worked really hard alongside me. ... I am really thankful for the four years I got, coming from zero coaching experience to getting the chance to manage such a great organization that has impacted my life in a great way. There's great people there. I really don't have a whole lot negative to say, to be honest. I get mad from time to time but I have a lot to be thankful for."- David Ross, via Tallahassee Democrat
In much the same way Hoyer and his mentor Theo Epstein ditched Rick Renteria for Joe Maddon, he ran back the same play with Counsell, giving the longtime Brewers manager an MLB record five-year, $40 million contract to come to Milwaukee's biggest division rival. That left Ross the odd man out, despite being the front office's handpicked successor to Maddon coming off the 2019 season.
David Ross shows nothing but class, even after Cubs fire him
Saying anger is 'poison' for him, Ross took the high road - and in doing so, maintained a relationship with the organization that put him on the national stage, first as a player, then as a manager. Several managerial vacancies exist, even after a recent hiring flurry, and maybe Ross lands a new gig - either as the top dog or as a member of the coaching staff.
"It's time for me to figure out what's next. I have a lot of gratitude. Some of the toughest times of my life, whether it's getting released or different things in my career, on and off the field, have been blessings at some point. Have made me a better man. There's been a lot of good things after some really tough times in my life. Hopefully this is another one of them."- David Ross
There's no way this is the end of the road for Ross in Major League Baseball. His time with the Cubs may be over - but his background and how he's handled this entire situation, one that turned the baseball world on its head this week - will surely endear him to organizations looking for experienced leadership in the dugout.