Though it had been widely reported Wednesday, the Cubs officially announced Thursday that David Ross has been named their new manager. Financial terms were not disclosed in the initial release, but the three-year deal runs through 2022 and has a club option for a fourth year.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) October 24, 2019
“We are thrilled to name David Ross as the 55th manager in franchise history,” Theo Epstein said in a team press release. “David is as gifted a leader as I’ve ever come across, and I expect him to become a great manager. He is a natural connector with a high baseball IQ and a passion for winning. David has always stood out for his ability to cultivate the ingredients of a winning culture — accountability, hard work, hustle, competitiveness, trust, togetherness, and team identity.”
That’s more or less what you’d expect Epstein to say, especially the latter points about what Ross is expected to bring out of his charges. Those are all things it seemed the Cubs had lacked to some extent over the previous season or two for whatever reason.
In his own portion of the statement, Ross laid out his vision for the team and directly addressed any concerns about his fitness to lead the Cubs.
“I’m honored by this opportunity to be the next manager of the Chicago Cubs,” Ross said. “My time with this organization has been special since the day I joined, so to continue with the club in this role is a blessing for which I’m so very thankful. We have accomplished so much together since 2015, and my desire to lead this organization to another World Series championship could not be any stronger.
“A lot has been made, and rightfully so, of my connection to the 2016 World Series team, and the notion that I’ll now be managing players I once counted on as teammates. Having those relationships going into this will be a bonus, no doubt about it. But those guys know I’ll be the first to hold them accountable, the first to demand their best daily effort and the first to let them know about it if they give anything but their best.
“I never had a problem dishing out a lot of tough love as their teammate, and that won’t change as their manager. We’ll have our fair share of fun along the way, but working hard as a team, playing fundamental team baseball and winning a lot of games will be our top priority.”
— MLB (@MLB) October 24, 2019
There will be a press conference Monday, at which point the World Series will either be over or on another travel day. That will bring more details on the contract, as well as more direct statements from Ross and the front office. Several other teams are likely to do the same, as Thursday has already brought news of at least two other managerial hirings: Joe Girardi with the Phillies and Jayce Tingler with the Padres.