In Chicago on the eve of Cubs Convention, new Cubs manager David Ross addressed a media scrum during a charity event to distribute sports equipment to kids in the community. Most of his responses were predictable cliches, but his take on Kris Bryant’s immediate future could be taken as something more.
“KB is on the roster,” Ross answered. “I expect him to be there. I think the fans should expect him to be there. It’s an exciting time to be the Cubs manager, there’s a lot of talent. There’s no ceiling for this team, I really think this team could win the World Series.”
It’s entirely possible that Ross has been told absolutely nothing about the front office’s plans for the winter and that he’s simply saying what he thinks people want to hear. It’s also possible that he’s been told the Cubs will try to trade Bryant and is just blowing smoke up everyone’s backsides. But maybe, just maybe, he’s actually been told to plan for a roster than includes its best player.
The reality is probably that those things are all intermingled and that Ross is simply spouting platitudes that don’t really mean anything. This is, after all, a weekend in which Cubs fans come together to bliss out on their team and use their kids to seek out autographs from their favorite players. Except that even the most comprehensive collection of nostalgic air freshener can’t completely cover up the fetid odor wafting up from the team’s stagnant offseason.
So if you’re heading down to the Sheraton Grand this weekend, you may want to pack some Febreeze or hang one of those little cardboard pine trees from your lanyard.