UPDATE: Looks like Ross will be the guy. More to come when it’s made official by the team.
Cubs made their decision late yesterday afternoon and the other candidates have been informed they are indeed out. David Ross is the choice. @ESPNChiCubs joins me at 9:25 on @ESPN1000. Story coming on @NBCSChicago and the MyTeams app.— David Kaplan (@thekapman) October 23, 2019
Now, here’s the original article.
Earlier this week, Astros bench coach Joe Espada was brought back to Chicago for a second interview for the Cubs’ vacant managerial position. Many thought that might mean Espada was the “favorite” (as if this is a horse race, which it’s not) to be named Cubs manager.
Not so fast!
Not as formally announced as Espada, but David Ross is said to have also had a second interview with the #Cubs. Given his position with the team, I'm told they expanded conversations earlier this week. #MLB— Kelly Crull (@Kelly_Crull) October 22, 2019
David Ross didn’t necessarily need to speak to Theo & Co. a second time, as he is well known to them from his time as a player and special assistant for the team. Nevertheless, they did it anyway, per that report from NBC Sports Chicago’s Kelly Crull.
One thing I think we can glean from these second interviews is that the decision is down to Ross or Espada. None of the other reported candidates (Joe Girardi, Mark Loretta, Will Venable or Gabe Kapler) has been back for a second inteview, and at least three of those men (Girardi, Kapler and Venable) have been linked to other managerial openings. Girardi, in particular, might have a new job soon. More on that in a moment.
Here’s a tantalizing hint as to what might happen next:
Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) dropped a little hint and insight on the #Cubs managerial search on ESPN 1000: "Do not be surprised if David Ross is announced as the Cubs manager this Thursday”— Cubs Live (@Cubs_Live) October 22, 2019
Thursday will be an off day during the World Series as the venue shifts from Houston to Washington. It’s been generally understood that the commissioner’s office doesn’t want teams to make big announcements such as managerial hires during the World Series.
Source confirms MLB will allow announcements like new manager hirings on off/ workout days during WS .Thursday or potentially next Monday are open dates.— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) October 22, 2019
So, what Jesse Rogers said on his radio program Tuesday evening is entirely possible. There’s going to be a managerial announcement Thursday in any case:
New Angels manager Joe Maddon will be formally introduced at noon local time on Thursday, in a press conference that will be attended by owner Arte Moreno and general manager Billy Eppler. It will take place inside the team's stadium.— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) October 21, 2019
And there might be a second one:
Sources: @Phillies will make Joe Girardi the 55th manager in the history of the franchise. Official announcement expected on Thursday.— Jeff Evans (@MLBJeffEvans) October 21, 2019
Why not make it three and have a news conference announcing David Ross is the Cubs’ new manager on Thursday?
One more note about Ross, from this article at MLB Trade Rumors, which has a couple of quotes from a podcast interview Ross gave to Rob Bradford of WEEI Radio in Boston. Among other things:
Ross told Rob Bradford of WEEI that he believes he’s capable of melding the best qualities of the top managers he encountered during his career. Ross played under World Series-winning managers in [Joe] Maddon, Terry Francona, John Farrell and Bobby Cox.
Maddon’s “old school to the core; he just uses the analytics in his favor for certain wacky situations where he may take the pitcher and put him in left field,” according to Ross. While Ross noted that Maddon’s methods with the Cubs came off as unconventional, “90 percent of the time, it worked out.”
Ross, if he becomes a manager, will attempt to mix the methods of Maddon and Cox – specifically the “freedom” they’ve given players – with Francona’s communication skills and Farrell’s ability to delegate. And as someone who played in the majors for a decade and a half, Ross thinks he learned what not to do from less successful managers. In his discussion with Bradford, Ross opined he’s well aware “what a bad manager looks like.”
It’s worth listening to the entire interview, which is at the link above. And as always, we await further developments.