[Ed. – In addition to the article discussed below, David Laurila conducted a great interview with David Ross that you can read now, and we’ll be sure to discuss later.]
Each season, it seems, there are at least one or two players from every team that stand out as the perfect template for “future coaches or managers.” The reasons vary from experience, to leadership, to baseball knowledge, etc. But all candidates share that indescribable quality we’ve collectively agreed constitutes a good coach.
For the Cubs in 2015, that guy was David Ross.
But before I dive any deeper into this topic, I want to remind you of one of the best moments of 2015, to really show you what I mean:
If you can’t watch/don’t remember this moment, here’s how it plays out: With the Cubs up one run on the Nationals in the bottom of the ninth inning, Hector Rondon is on the mound. With runners at first and second base, the Nationals have the tying run in scoring position and the winning run at first. Rondon delivers a pitch, Ross pops up and picks off Clint Robinson at first base, winning the game for Chicago.
As it turns out, I’m not the only one who thinks that.
In article for FanGraphs, David Laurila polls several veterans, coaches and managers to see which active players might one day make excellent coaches. To no one’s surprise, David Ross’ name is mentioned several times. Actually, strike that, seven times:
- Chris Denorfia (Cubs – outfielder)
- Mike Dunn (Marlins – pitcher)
- Jeff Francoeur (Phillies – outfielder)
- Jonny Gomes (Braves – outfielder)
- Ryan Hannigan (Red Sox – catcher)
- AJ Hinch (Astros Manager)
- Brad Mills (Indians bench coach)
Once Ross retires from playing, the Cubs would be lucky to keep him around in any capacity they can. For 2016, though, let’s count ourselves lucky to still have him behind the dish, and in the clubhouse, for the Chicago Cubs.