It’s another Tuesday night here at BCB After Dark: the coolest club for night owls, early risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. Come on in out of the cold. Kick the slosh off your shoes. If you want us to check your coat, we can do that now. We’ve still got a few tables available. There’s no cover charge. Bring your own beverage.
BCB After Dark is the place for you to talk baseball, music, movies, or anything else you need to get off your chest, as long as it is within the rules of the site. The late-nighters are encouraged to get the party started, but everyone else is invited to join in as you wake up the next morning and into the afternoon.
Last night I asked you what you thought of the Cubs shock decision to hire former Brewers manager Craig Counsell and jettison David Ross to the curb. The vote wasn’t even close as 86 percent of you thought it was a great idea and only four percent were opposed. Ten percent voted for the “meh” option.
On Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, I don’t normally do a movie essay, but you can look back at what I wrote about Forever Amber (1947) yesterday. You can also start reviewing your classic Westerns for the upcoming tournament. But I always have time for jazz, so those of you who skip that can do so now. You won’t hurt my feelings.
Tonight we have a performance from the NPR Tiny Desk series featuring the funky, experimental fusion of “Hiromi’s sonicwonder.” This is very reminiscent of the jazz fusion of the 1970s but with a modern twist. They play two songs from their new album.
We’ve got bandleader Hiromi Uehara on piano/keyboards/synth, Adam O’Farrill on trumpet, Gene Coye on drums and Hadrien Feraud on bass.
Welcome back to everyone who skips all that jazz. Although you missed some funk tonight.
After four seasons, David Ross is out as Cubs manager. Perhaps you’ve heard. So today, I’m asking you to give Ross a final grade for his time as the Cubs skipper.
As an on-field manager, I had issues with Ross. I think he stuck with non-producing players way too long at times and he didn’t give the regulars enough days off. I fault him for not getting a coherent bullpen together, although I’m not quite sure how much of that was his fault and how much the front office should be blamed.
On the other hand, he did a lot of things right too. He certainly deserves some credit for turning around Seiya Suzuki’s season this year after he sat him down for about a week to get a “mental reset” or whatever. He may have ridden Mike Tauchman too hard down the stretch, but he put Tauchman in enough positions to succeed during the season that made him a valuable major league outfielder.
But I think the biggest positive in Ross’s time as manager is that the players never quit on him. I never got the impression that the players on the field weren’t giving everything they had to try to win while Ross was manager. That’s not always been the case with Joe Maddon, Lou Piniella or other former managers. Maybe the talent just wasn’t there for him to succeed like we would have liked, but it wasn’t a lack of effort.
So give David Ross’ four years as Cubs’ manager a final grade. There was a division title in 2020, albeit one with a big asterisk and a quick exit in the playoffs. There was the mid-season collapse in 2021 that led to the selloff of many of the heroes of 2016. The 2022 season looked to be more of the same from the Cubs, except even after selling at the deadline, the Cubs got better in the second half. And then there was a terrible start, the terrific comeback and the late-season collapse of 2023.
So what’s your final grade for David Ross?
Grade David Ross’ four years as Cubs manager
This poll is closed
Thank you to everyone who stopped by. I hope you’ve had an enjoyable time here and that you’ll be a regular. Please recycle any cans and bottles. If you checked anything, let us get that for you. Get home safely. Tip the waitstaff. And join us again tomorrow for more BCB After Dark.