A little further credence to last night’s report from Gordon Wittenmyer that the Cubs may be down to David Ross and Joe Espada in their managerial preferences?
Here’s Dave Kaplan with what he’s heard out of Houston:
Houston source tells me Astros coach Joe Espada had a sensational interview w/Cubs front office. “He gave Theo + Jed a lot to think about. They really liked him + came away exceptionally impressed. Was it enough to overcome David Ross’s relationship w/Theo and Jed? We’ll see.”
— David Kaplan (@thekapman) October 17, 2019
There’s actually a lot to unpack there beyond the seeming confirmation that the Cubs’ preferences after interviews are Ross and Espada.
For one thing, you have to take the originating source – out of Houston – with a big grain of salt. Espada is an up-and-coming manager candidate, perhaps viewed by many as the best. If it seemed on his side of things like the Cubs were going to go with Ross, it would be good to have it out there that they were already predisposed to go with Ross even before interviews, but Espada was so darn good that it “game Theo and Jed a lot to think about.”
For another thing, there’s the implication in there that the pre-existing relationship between Ross and the top of the front office *did* make them already predisposed to go with Ross. And, to be fair to Espada, there were plenty of rumors, speculation, and logical concluding to that end long before the Cubs had even lined up an interview with Espada. Everyone would have called Ross the favorite the day after Joe Maddon was let go. Indeed, everyone did say that!
Ultimately, this feels like an anecdote – again, coming out of Houston, not Chicago – that is probably true, but also is mostly something someone really wanted to get out there. It almost makes it seem like that person in Houston thinks Espada isn’t going to get the job, but wanted the rest of the baseball world to know for sure that it wasn’t because Espada wasn’t very impressive. It’s just that the Cubs already had their guy.
As the tweet ends, I guess I’ll agree: we’ll see.