David Ross just could not possibly have imagined that this is what it would be like to be the manager of the Chicago Cubs.
You think about bullpens. Lineup decisions. Dividing playing time. Developing young players while also competing daily. Maybe you think a bit about off-field transgressions. About PEDs. Definitely about injuries.
But Ross and his players live in a real world, where the events of society directly impact their ability to perform their jobs. Whether it’s the COVID-19 pandemic or the cultural issues in baseball or the social unrest tied to the pursuit of racial justice, the Cubs do not operate in an insular bubble. And that leaves the manager, the most visible conduit for organizational messaging on a day-to-day basis, left to address things that probably feel, at times, way out of his wheelhouse.
So it was again today, as Chicago faced another significant overnight wave of unrest and looting downtown following an officer-involved shooting earlier on Sunday. The destruction is significant, and nobody wants this for the city. Demonstrations are important. This, however, does not seem to have been that.
Enter Ross, having to speak for the Cubs organization and his players, who are obviously affected:
Cubs manager David Ross, when asked about the events overnight in Chicago… pic.twitter.com/VfeX3uZ4Nh
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) August 10, 2020
What else can he say? Ross has to be there for his players, supporting them through the most challenging season they’ll ever face, during a global pandemic, amid a summer of social chaos. It does feel like there’s something new every day to deal with, and it’s a lot easier when we just get to focus on baseball. But we don’t have that luxury right now.
I hope the situation in Chicago improves immediately, I hope the underlying causes of unrest and social injustice continue to be addressed, and I hope Cubs baseball returns safely tomorrow in Cleveland, and then upon the return to Chicago. I don’t know what else we can say.