The Cubs duo at The Athletic today put out a fantastic piece on the managerial transition to David Ross, and putting you back in the headspace of he and the team got to the point where they were when things shut down in March. Moreover, it gets you into a spot to better appreciate what the Cubs have in a new manager trying to help navigate through an impossible process.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t read the article for all that stuff. You should. It’s fantastic, with some great anecdotes we haven’t heard before.
But specifically, today, I wanted to share this bit – which Sahadev Sharma knew was gold, hence his tweet – from Nick Castellanos on the departure of Joe Maddon, who was only his manager for a couple months:
Leave it to Castellanos to perfectly sum up why Joe Maddon and the Cubs parted ways. From @PJ_Mooney and I, a behind-the-scenes look at why the Cubs hired David Ross, what he showed them this spring and how the team has stayed connected during the shutdown https://t.co/Id4fGempH8 pic.twitter.com/j8ppLmmmYi
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) May 26, 2020
The rest of the quote that was cut off in the tweet image:
Hiring Ross signified the Cubs wouldn’t keep letting these issues slide. If a player wasn’t going to do it, Ross would. It’s not a criticism of Maddon as much as an indication that the group needed a different voice. Maddon wasn’t going to suddenly change his personality in his mid-60s.
“That’s where I said Joe is consistent,” Castellanos said. “Joe’s like, ‘No, this is who I am. This is who I’ve always been and this is my philosophy.’ You had people at a crossroads. Joe knows who he is and Theo and Jed now know the direction they want to take the organization. A leopard doesn’t change his spots, especially if that leopard knows who he is, you feel me? So Joe and them, it was very mutual, they shook hands and Joe was excited for his next chapter.”
Well summed up by the philosopher Castellanos, and well framed by Sharma. You are reminded that even Maddon recently conceded that there were differences there by the end, and he knew he was going to move on before last season even ended. It was clear enough that a guy who was barely with the Cubs could see it immediately. And that’s just fine – it was time. And it was time for Ross.
(Oh, and as for Castellanos, you are reminded that he can opt out of his contract with the Reds after this season! … but given the economic climate and the damage done to the sport, that now seems extraordinarily unlikely.)