David Ross with a Fair Reminder About What Goes Into Managerial Decisions

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David Ross with a Fair Reminder About What Goes Into Managerial Decisions

Chicago Cubs

It’s an aspect of managing that I know to be true, but I don’t always hold in my conscious mind. Some of that is forgetfulness in the heat of the moment, but a lot of it is the reality that it’s not much fun to dissect and debate a manager’s move if we always have to caveat it with: “… but maybe he knows something we don’t.”

That’s boring.

But it is sometimes true, and it’s fair for Chicago Cubs manager David Ross to offer up the reminder. Not an excuse! Just a reminder.

From The Athletic:

“Part of my job is to answer the questions that you guys (in the media) might have or the fans might have,” Ross said. “Part of my job is to take criticism when I make those decisions and explain my answers as best I can without giving away any kind of competitive advantage. How I handle it is I just try to be the same person every single day.”

Some of Ross’ bullpen decisions are influenced by internal information that is hidden from the public. Some of Ross’ lineup adjustments and pitching changes are geared toward long-term considerations like building confidence and managing egos. Some of Ross’ job responsibilities involve matters that have nothing to do with baseball.

“The off-the-field stuff that’s going on comes in that door a lot, a lot more than you would expect,” Ross said. “Sometimes publicly you just kind of wear it and bite your tongue and try to understand that you got to protect the player. Not everybody always knows that story of what’s going on.”

Sometimes it’s a minor physical issue a guy is dealing with, but that you don’t want to put out to the world for competitive reasons. Sometimes it’s a guy feeling under the weather because of choices he made the night before, and the manager doesn’t want to use him that day. Sometimes it’s the deeeeeeeep dive analytics stuff that Cubs R&D has provided him, but we simply don’t have the data or computers or tracking information to calculate on our own.

As boring as it is – and as much as it is NOT a blanket excuse for mistakes by a manager – it is true that sometimes he’s playing with more information than we have, and we might think a little differently about this move or that if we had the same information.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.