So it just happened... the Cubs have formally introduced David Ross as their new manager. Rossy will take back his old #3 from Daniel Descalso, who really wasn't doing much with it anyway, and looked very comfortable sitting behind the table, flanked by Thed, in his old jersey. In fact, he looked like he could get right back behind the plate and yell at BDJ tomorrow if he wanted to. But that's not why we're here.
Why we're really here is to discuss how New Manager David Ross did in his presser. The first thing he did once the opening pleasantries were out of the way was to address three of the main concerns fans have already expressed regarding his hire. His first comment? "I expect winning just like you do." This was a good, strong statement to quell some of the fears that the FO might be looking at a soft rebuild instead of thinking about keeping the window open and trying to win another World Series. In fact, winning another championship was something Ross touched on often during the presser, even going so far as to say that he wants to bring multiple championships back to Chicago.
His next move was to address his lack of practical coaching experience head-on, acknowledging that everyone gets experience in different ways and that he feels his years on championship teams, working with pitchers and keeping teammates accountable in the dugout have prepped him for this opportunity. It was, I thought, effective enough to steer anyone on the bubble, and an eloquent way to put it out there while not conceding that it will be a hindrance.
Finally, Ross tackled the question of whether he'd be able to manage his "friends," reminding everyone that the conversations he had on the mound with Lester weren't always "friendly" and probably not appropriate for a mic'd up situation. He insisted that he would have high expectations for the entire team when he came to work, and would have no problem holding guys accountable, very much downplaying his "Grandpa Rossy" persona. A good example was his note that the team needs to find a better, more consistent routine on the road and would be held accountable for those things. That statement was accompanied by a split-second facial expression that could best be described as the one your dad got when you hadn't finished your homework yet and he caught you playing video games in your room. Personally, I found it comforting.
Someone also asked the question about Ross being a perceived "yes man" for the FO, and Theo gave what I thought was a pretty good response: “If you want a puppet, you don’t hire David Ross.”
Whether or not you buy any of this is completely up to you, but as press conferences go, I thought it was pretty darn successful and that Ross sounded confident and fully up for the job. The real test will start in spring training, but I'm hopeful and regardless of my personal feelings on it, I'll be rooting for him every step of the way.
If you'd like to watch the full press conference, it's right here at #AtCubs!
Press Conference Grade: A- (The minus is so that weird guy on Twitter who accused me of being a Rossy stan doesn't harass me for giving him a plain old A.) (Matt interrupts again: Just one weird Twitter guy?)