It had been rumored for a while, but the Chicago Cubs made it official on Wednesday, hiring former catcher David Ross as their new manager.
David Kaplan of ESPN 1000 broke the news.
Cubs made their decision late yesterday afternoon and the other candidates have been informed they are indeed out. David Ross is the choice. @ESPNChiCubs joins me at 9:25 on @ESPN1000. Story coming on @NBCSChicago and the MyTeams app.— David Kaplan (@thekapman) October 23, 2019
Ross has been mentioned as the favorite for quite some time. Sure enough, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer made the move, and Ross - who played two seasons for the Cubs - will begin his first managerial gig.
The 42-year-old Ross played 15 years in the Majors as a catcher, from 2002 to 2016. He won World Series Championships with the Boston Red Sox and Cubs in 2013 and 2016, respectively. Ross retired after helping the Cubs win their first World Championship in 108 years.
The hiring of Ross comes after the Cubs decided not to bring back manager Joe Maddon, whose contract expired following the 2019 regular season. Maddon was hired to become the new manager of the Los Angeles Angels last week.
Chicago was in line to reach the postseason for the fifth straight year, but they unraveled in the month of September to finish with a 84-78 record - seven points behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the NL Central division crown. The Milwaukee Brewers finished two games ahead of the Cubs for the final NL wild card spot.
Despite five straight winning seasons under Maddon, including three NLCS appearances and a World Series title, the Cubs front office decided that a new voice was needed in the clubhouse. Only time will tell if Ross ends up being the right guy for the job.
First-Year Managers Have Had Plenty Of Success
It's easy to question a team's decision to hire a manager with no previous experience, but that's the trend in baseball right now. And as you can see with Alex Cora (Boston), Craig Counsell (Milwaukee) Aaron Boone (New York Yankees), Dave Roberts (Los Angeles Dodgers) and Dave Martinez (Washington), teams are having plenty of success with it. The Cubs are banking on Ross to join that list of first-time managers who succeeded from the beginning.