I’m not 100% sure where the conversation started out there today, but it seems like Chicago Cubs manager David Ross’s job security came up in various pockets of the fan/media-sphere – it was everywhere I looked. And whether it’s related or not, team president Jed Hoyer was just asked about it at Wrigley Field.
As you SHOULD be expecting, Hoyer had nothing but pleasant things to say about the manager he literally just extended three months ago:
Obviously there does come a point where it’s win-or-get-off-the-pot for a big league manager, and no volume of context for the team’s performance is going to save a job. But we are miles away from that with David Ross, whose three partial seasons so far have included (1) a short and fake pandemic season, (2) a season more or less designed to have a monster sell-off at midseason, and (3) a season where the front office’s aim was only to give the club a modest shot at competing if everything broke right.
That is not to say I don’t have questions about Ross as a manager. I just don’t feel like I know enough yet to be confident in either direction. He does a lot of things I like, but he also makes some decisions that leave me scratching my head. Evaluating the latter is complicated by the fact that we don’t know how many of those decisions are strongly urged by the front office, or by the fact that every single manager since time immemorial makes some decisions that leave you scratching your head (often because they have information on a player or players that hasn’t been made public).
Setting all that aside, Ross got an extension in March. Everyone knew by then what this year’s team was likely to look like, and although the results have been even worse, a lot of that disparity is due to injuries. Unless we want to say that part falls on Ross, then I will instead continue to focus my evaluations on his in-game decision-making (acceptable overall so far, in my view), and his ability to get the most out of individual players (with a primary focus on the continued development of young players (still TBD)).
I guess I just always figured Ross was going to get AT LEAST through 2023 no matter what. I suspect, though that he and the front office are going to feel considerable pressure next year to actually win some games. Just sayin’.