Sport: Paul Sullivan: Cubs embrace David Ross as their new manager. Now he has to prove he's nobody's puppet. - - PressFrom - US
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Sport Paul Sullivan: Cubs embrace David Ross as their new manager. Now he has to prove he's nobody's puppet.

17:25  29 october  2019
17:25  29 october  2019 Source:   chicagotribune.com

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The new Cubs manager will have to prove he ’ s nobody ’ s puppet . By Paul Sullivan . Ross obviously was hired to kick some assets, namely the talented core in the Cubs clubhouse that underachieved together, even as their individual 2019 stats look fine on the back of their baseball

CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs introduced an old friend as their new manager Monday morning. The team officially announced David Ross as their 55th He has also been a commentator for ESPN’ s baseball coverage during that time. Playing his final two years in Chicago, Ross was a critical leader

CHICAGO — Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts, the only Ricketts sibling to attend David Ross’s introductory news conference Monday, was excited to talk about the team’s new manager.

David Ross wearing a red jacket standing in front of a sign: The Cubs introduced David Ross as the 55th manager in franchise history on Oct. 28, 2019.© John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/TNS The Cubs introduced David Ross as the 55th manager in franchise history on Oct. 28, 2019.

“Of course we know everything about him,” she said. “We know his character, we know his experience, we know … excuse me, but I’m going to give him a hug right here.”

Ross, having finished his news conference, was waiting nearby to give his new boss a big ol’ hug, even though she technically already was his boss because Ross had a part-time gig as a special assistant to President Theo Epstein.

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Though Ross has never managed before, he explained Monday that there “are many ways to get Ross plans to continue to live in Tallahassee in the offseason. He recently purchased a new home. The Chicago Cubs have hired former catcher David Ross to replace Joe Maddon as their manager

No matter.

Ross apologized to Ricketts for not returning her text, having apparently forgotten the first rule of etiquette when beginning a new job is answering your boss’ text. But Ricketts shrugged it off, knowing he’d been busy since Thursday when it was announced that he was Joe Maddon’s replacement.

Ricketts told Ross he was her choice, which almost made him blush. Ross told Ricketts that her brother Pete had told him she was the “most excited” of the Ricketts clan about his hiring. The two had another big ol’ hug, before Ross was off to do some more interviews.

When asked to confirm Pete Ricketts’ assessment of her excitement level, Laura demurred.

“I don’t know if I was the most excited,” she said. “But I was kind of rooting for him all along. Obviously I want them to do their process and (conduct the interviews) and make the best choice for the job. But, yeah, I was really hoping in the end it would turn out to be David.

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He has a particularly special relationship with Hernandez, dating back to the 2016 NLCS when Rizzo apologized for showing up Hernandez earlier in On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, David Kaplan, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki react to the news of David Ross becoming the new manager of the

David Ross could have pushed back harder Monday against his “Grandpa Rossy’’ persona, the one Cubs fans loved so much when he was a player, but that would have involved hernia surgery. It wouldn’t have been a good look for the team’ s new manager to limp away from his introductory press

“I know his character, how he holds people accountable. We’re just really thrilled.”

“Accountable” was the operative word Monday during Ross’ introduction, which did not include any offerings of a shot and/or a beer, as Maddon famously did with the media at the Cubby Bear five years ago. Accountability also was the thematic motif during Epstein’s postmortem after a late-season collapse saw the Cubs miss the playoffs for the first time since 2014.

So at least we know what we’re working with here. Ross obviously was hired to kick some assets, namely the talented core in the Cubs clubhouse that underachieved together, even as their individual 2019 stats look fine on the back of their baseball cards.

The 2019 Cubs were a supergroup that somehow didn’t mesh, like Blind Faith, which recorded only one album together despite the talents of Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood and Ginger Baker. It’ll be Ross’ responsibility to make it mesh in 2020, though we’re still not sure if Epstein will break up the Javier Baez-Kris Bryant-Anthony Rizzo supercore this winter.

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David Ross took on so many jobs and projects in “retirement” that the Cubs didn’t really have a chance to get him as their new bench coach. “I think he ’ s going to get more involved in that role every year,” general manager Jed Hoyer said Thursday on NBC Sports Chicago’ s Cubs Talk Podcast .

Incredibly, he was released by the Cubs as both a player and a manager while hospitalized for brain surgery in 1912 after a heated hospital room argument with Cubs owner Murphy over Here’ s why the Cubs are likely choosing David Ross as their new manager All the signs point Ross ’ way.

Ross handled himself well Monday and was much more serious than the guy we watched as the clubhouse leader in 2015 and ‘16. He took pains to shoot down what he called the “misconception” about the “fun-loving, Grandpa Rossy theme out there,” undoing the hard work Rizzo and Bryant did to create the character. It was their “GrandpaRossy — 3” Instagram account in 2016 that hammered home the image, which is tough to ignore.

“If you ask any of my friends and ex-players what kind of teammate I was, I didn’t shy away from the tough conversations,” Ross said, pointing to some mound conversations with big ol’ pal Jon Lester that were “rarely friendly.”

Former Cubs starter Jason Hammel seemed to verify that anecdote on Twitter last week, facetiously asking Ross if Willson Contreras “will be managing the days ur babysitting (Lester).”

We can joke about the Ross-Lester relationship now, but with the Cubs in the stretch run this year Lester posted a 6.45 ERA with a .921 OPS against in 10 starts from Aug. 1 to Sept. 18. Ross may have a difficult decision to make if Lester starts similarly in 2020 and is the weak link of the rotation.

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Cubs introduce David Ross as their manager at a Monday morning press conference. “We believe David truly has special gifts,” Epstein said. “Behind the scenes, David has been very proactive. For David , it was never enough for him or the teams he was on just to show up.”

David Ross , the Cubs new manager and 55th in franchise history, was introduced on Monday. He is all about the business of winning and holding anyone David Ross sounds the same, his speech peppered with the same Southern twang it always has been. But mention the cuddly alter ego of the

Epstein isn’t worried about good ol’ boy Ross being able to manage his ol’ buddies.

“It’s easy to get in a player’s face,” Epstein said. “Anyone can do that. It’s hard to get in their face and then have them come back a half hour later and want to talk about it more and still want to be around you.”

Epstein denied the Ross hiring was a fait accompli, as many — including me — have suggested from the start of the interview process. Ross did not interview with any of the other eight teams searching for a manager this month, so he only had one choice — manage the Cubs or return to his analyst job at ESPN.

“I think it’s the perfect fit for him and the organization at the perfect time,” Ross’ agent, Ryan Gleichowski, said.

Epstein said he learned a lot about Ross’ ability to manage during the interview process, which included a mock opening news conference that Ross apparently nailed. Ross also successfully dodged a reporter staking him out near Starbucks during his first interview with Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer, which probably earned him some points as well.

So why was Ross the “perfect fit” for the job?

Epstein said Ross had “special gifts as a leader, the things you can’t teach.” He revealed that players had said during exit interviews that there was not enough team bonding, which obviously was Ross’ forte as a Cubs player.

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CHICAGO -- New Cubs manager David Ross and team president Theo Epstein pushed back on the notion ESPN' s Karl Ravech talks about the biggest challenge facing new manager David Ross and the I just have all the confidence in the world he ' s going to establish a new direction, a new voice

Henry missed his friend, but he ( HAVE ) a birthday party soon and he hoped that Stan would be able to make it. The party was set for the following weekend. Coal-powered energy is less favourable to people, as only 20% of citizens prefer to have this type of power source in THEIR neighbourhood.

The perception of Ross simply carrying out Epstein’s directives will be difficult to shake, at least at the outset. Ross said he understands it will be a “collaborative effort” between him, Epstein and Hoyer, but he insisted he would be “making my own decisions (with) continued feedback” from his bosses.

“I’m going to be myself and figure out who I am and my passion on the field,” he said.

WMVP-AM 1000’s John Jurkovic already has dubbed him “the Manchurian manager,” so Ross will have to prove he’s not.

“If you’re a front office and you want a puppet, you don’t hire David Ross,” Epstein said. “Anyone that knows Rossy knows that.”

Epstein added Ross is “absolutely his own man,” and said he was looking for a “partner” and not a “yes man.”

“I’m looking forward to someone with his own ideas,” Epstein said.

Ross received a three-year contract through 2022, which gives him one more year than Epstein to make things right, assuming Epstein goes on to bigger and better things after his 10-year stint with the Cubs is up after 2021, which is mere speculation at this point.

“I never for one second think about my contract or the duration of it,” Epstein said. “We’re always going to act in the best interest of the organization for the long haul. … I think he’s somebody the entire organization felt good about. It wasn’t one person picking him. He was the consensus choice throughout the organization, and hopefully he’s here for a really long time.”

If it works, it should be a good ol’ time for everyone involved.

———

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