There won’t be a sign lauding him as “Classy 3nough 2 Be A Cardinal,” and I guarantee we won’t be inundated with lists of the famous women he’s bedded. No, the unofficial theme song of David Ross’s retirement tour won’t be Billy Squier’s biggest hit. But while the rest of baseball probably won’t genuflect before the majesty of His Royal Graybeardness, some of his younger charges have made it their mission to send the battered backstop off into the sunset in style.
Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo reignited and consummated their presumed-dormant bromance to give birth to an Instagram account they named Grandpa Rossy (@grandparossy_3). The goal: to track the conclusion of the elder statesman’s diplomatic mission from first day of school to (fingers crossed) one last win.
In a strange twist, they are also using the account to make fun of how old Ross is. And that’s right and good because he’s really old. I mean, he makes John Lackey look, like, not super old even though Lackey’s also old.
A photo posted by David Ross (@grandparossy_3) on
And the best part? Ross gets it and he’s cool with it.
“This isn’t about me,” Ross said, more in reference to the upcoming season than the Instagram account. “There’s so much good going on here. I don’t think it should ever be about the backup catcher retiring that’s a career .220 hitter.”
On one hand, I want to admire him for being cognizant of the situation, but then I think it’s a pretty obvious observation. And then I think again and realize that it’s not all that often in professional sports that we hear a guy willing to sort of lay himself bare and fully give in and own his fallibility. I think we all assumed that the two-year deal he signed with the Cubs prior to the 2015 season would be his last, but I’d imagine there’s something freeing for Ross about actually admitting it.
“Listen, if it’s about me, we’re in trouble. There’s none of that – this last this, this last that. I look forward to this ride.
I’m not about to say that the catharsis of embracing the target of retirement is going to result in some career rebirth, but it can’t hurt. No, I mean it really can’t hurt. The guy’s batting average has dropped in each of the last five years, from .289 in 2010 to .176, and his OPS has dropped from a robust .871 to .518, which is not not bad. I mean, that’s Casey McGehee and Mike Zunino territory, except a little worse. It’s like living in the same subdivision as those guys but having the smallest house in the neighborhood.
Of course, in Ross’s case, the house in question would have a really dope basement with a giant TV and bangin’ sound system and one of those arcade games that has a hundred or so different games on it. Maybe that’s why the rest of the Cubs like hanging out with Ross, even the new guys. Splashy offseason pickup Jason Heyward has offered to pay for Ross to upgrade his digs, picking up the tab for his former/current teammate to have a hotel suite on the road all season. Seems like an inordinately pricey gift until you realize that the two played together in Atlanta during Heyward’s first three seasons and shared a locker stall during the outfielder’s rookie season.
While it’s clear to everyone, even David Ross himself, that David Ross isn’t going to put up huge stats, there’s a reason you keep a dude like him on the roster. So rather than complain about how you can smell his Icy Hot through the TV and how his performance in day games dips because it means missing his afternoon nap, let’s just enjoy this final act as much as the rest of the Cubs are planning to.