Cubs Tap David Ross As New Manager

WBBM Newsradio Staff
October 23, 2019 - 4:05 pm

David Ross (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- The Cubs will tab a familiar face to lead their clubhouse.

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The Cubs will hire David Ross to be their new manager, David Kaplan of NBC Sports Chicago and ESPN first reported Tuesday. 670 The Score confirmed the news. Other candidates have been informed they weren't the choice, Kaplan reported.

The hiring of Ross comes as no surprise, as he was a respected veteran player on the Cubs in 2015 and 2016 as they began their resurgence and then ended their 108-year championship drought. Ross holds a close relationship with Cubs executives Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer and had served as a special assistant to the front office for the past three seasons in addition to being an ESPN analyst.

"My heart is drawn to that dugout," Ross said on ESPN in late September when he was asked about his potential interest in the Cubs.

Ross, 42, replaces Joe Maddon, whom the Cubs let go after his contract expired at season's end. Ross still holds a close relationship with some key Cubs players who were members of the 2015 and 2016 teams. He brought a respected voice to the clubhouse and was also known to dole out tough love as needed with an honest approach.

"We all love David, and he knows the team and the organization," shortstop Javier Baez said in late September. 

Given his 15-year MLB career as a catcher, the Cubs were also enthused by the work he can do with the team's pitching staff. Ross was a career .229 hitter who had 106 home runs and 314 RBIs in 883 games. He played for the Braves, Red Sox, Dodgers, Reds, Cubs, Pirates and Padres. He won the World Series with the Red Sox in 2013 and the Cubs in 2016.

Ross had his initial managerial interview with the Cubs on Oct 10. He then had another interview earlier this week. The Cubs made their decision Tuesday, a source told 670 reporter Bruce Levine.

Ross has no managerial experience, so he will face a learning curve in making quick strategical decisions in the crucible of a game.

Astros bench coach Joe Espada was the runner-up for the job after he interviewed with the Cubs twice. The Cubs also interviewed internal candidates in bench coach Mark Loretta and first-base coach Will Venable and external candidates in Espada, former Yankees manager Joe Girardi and former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler.

MLB frowns upon major news announcements during the World Series, though the league has relaxed that stance on off days. So the Cubs' official announcement of hiring Ross could come Thursday, which is the next off day in the World Series matchup between the Nationals and Astros.