David Ross has managed the Cubs through two of the weirdest seasons in team, and baseball, history.
In his first season, the MLB season was shortened to 60 games due to the COVID pandemic. He led the team to a NL Central title with a 34-26 record, only to see them get swept out of a wild card series by the Marlins. Ross finished third in NL Manager of the Year voting.
In 2021, the Cubs got off to a great start, were in first place in mid-June and then collapsed, prompting management to a huge selloff of star players. The 71-91 record doesn’t really reflect Ross’ managerial talent, and give the man credit for leading that team of minor leaguers and waiver wire acquisitions to a near-.500 record (17-19) after August 22. His original three-year deal was set to expire after 2022.
Today, the Cubs announced a two-year contract extension for Ross through the 2024 season, with a team option for 2025. This extension (without the option year) is exactly what I argued for in this article here last September.
The Cubs should be on the upswing by the end of Ross’ deal, and if they are contenders by then (or earlier!) the exercise of the team option should be a no-brainer. If that happens, Ross would become the longest-tenured Cubs manager since Leo Durocher. Yes, you read that right — the longest-tenured Cubs managers since Durocher (6½ seasons) are Jim Riggleman and Joe Maddon, both of whom served five seasons.
Congratulations to Ross on the extension and I hope he’s Cubs manager for a long time to come.