David Ross is in!
The Chicago Cubs announced Yesterday that David Ross will be the new manager. After Joe Maddon's contract was not extended, David Ross came in as a local favorite. He's an unorthodox candidate, with no previous coaching or managing experience.
David Ross is, of course, a cult hero to Cubs fans, for his Grandpa Rossy persona that we saw in 2015 and 2016. Upon announcing his impending retirement in 2016, he was gifted this scooter:
He then secured a place in Cubs lore with a clutch solo home run in game 7 of the 2016 World Series. Before being carried off the field Rudy style.
David Ross's official contract is for 3 years (2020-2022), with a club option for 2023. He becomes the youngest Cubs manager since Jim Riggleman.
It will be interesting to see how an ex-teammate of just 3 years prior can manage a Cubs team coming off a deeply disappointing 2019. Ross was known for being friendly and well respected, but also a strong clubhouse leader. Will that translate into being a good manager?
The thing I'm most excited to see is how he handles Jon Lester. Jon's big personality is well noted, so we'll see what happens the first time Ross has to say, take Jon out mid-inning. Joe Maddon would leave Lester in after a blowup inning at times because he knew he could still save the bullpen. Will that still happen?
It's also worth noting that Theo Epstein's deal expires in 2021, so it's not like Ross and Epstein's deals and synced up to expire together. Many Cubs player contracts expire around that time, so there were rumors that Theo was just planting things for while he was still with the Cubs.
There are a lot of questions with a rookie manager. Always. But with Ross's background with the team, this could be a good thing. We shall see.