In addition to just being a World Series hero and a cult icon, David Ross is actually still currently employed by the Chicago Cubs as a special assistant in the front office. What that role entails, and what it could be preparing him for in the future should he look to return to a more regular position some day, is not entirely clear. What is clear is that Ross is beloved in Chicago, and the organization is happy to keep him in the fold as long as possible.
But maybe that soon will not be possible.
We’ve always expected this day would come, and it’s here: Ross is a managerial candidate.
According to the Star Tribune, the Minnesota Twins are hoping to talk to Ross, among other candidates, about their open managerial position.
The Twins have been quiet on the managerial front since announcing that Paul Molitor would not be returning to the position next year. They’ve interviewed hitting coach (and former Cubs hitting coach, many years ago) James Rowson, and apparently would also like to talk to Ross and (former Cub) Mark DeRosa.
There will be a lot of competition this offseason for the top candidates, as there are a large number of openings around baseball already: Angels, Blue Jays, Orioles, Rangers, Reds, and Twins.
Ross, 41, retired after the Cubs’ World Series win in 2016, and although he nominally stayed in the organization while splitting time at ESPN and on Dancing with the Stars, I don’t believe he is engaged in a full-time, deep-in-the-weeds role just yet.
Ross left the game in large part because he wanted to spend time with his family, and it’s possible he isn’t ready yet to get back into the daily grind that would accompany a coaching or managerial gig. Or maybe he is. And if he’s ready to become a coach or an instructor, if he doesn’t get a managerial job elsewhere, here’s hoping the Cubs find a spot for him. Ross not only understands the game and has a range of experiences in it, he just always struck me as a guy who had the right disposition and affect – thoughtful and positive, patient yet urgent.
That said, I know where folks’ heads will go – just hang onto Ross for this year and groom him to be Joe Maddon’s replacement if he’s not going to get an extension post-2019! – but let’s just take it easy on that front. It’s impossible to know right now what kind of managerial candidate Ross would be, let alone what is going to happen with Joe Maddon and the Cubs a year from now.
So, instead, I’ll just say again: if Ross doesn’t get (or doesn’t want) a managerial job elsewhere this offseason, I just hope the Cubs can keep his voice and his presence in the organization.