SAN FRANCISCO — By the time Cubs manager David Ross woke up Friday morning in San Francisco, the texts were pouring into his phone at a pace not quite as fast as the Ross finger memes and GIFs were flying through the Twitterverse.
“Need to address the double birds first,” Ross said before a question was asked as he opened his daily pregame session with writers Friday.
Ross’ caught-on-camera double-finger salute to buddy and former Cub Joc Pederson of the Giants early in Thursday's Cubs-Giants game went viral before the birds landed.
“Yeah, he was just making a joke,” said Pederson, who tried to stifle as grin and refused to get baited into a reciprocating response when he spied Ross. “Nope. Not gonna get me.”
At least not on camera.
“I should definitely know better,” Ross said, issuing the unsolicited apology. “It was kind of my hello to a friend of mine on the other side and just got caught on camera.
“I don’t want any kids out there giving the birds to anybody,” he said. “It’s not the way I want to represent this organization or myself or my family. Poor taste. Sorry it got caught on TV.”
At least it was well-received by its intended recipient.
“It definitely got the person’s attention,” Ross said, smiling.
Before anybody asks, the greeting had “nothing” to do with Mike Trout’s fantasy football league, Pederson said.
Pederson spent just 3 1/2 months with the Cubs last season before being the first traded in the Cubs’ nine-man deadline selloff, but he made a lot of friends in the clubhouse in that short time and was one of Ross’ favorites.
The feeling seems mutual, with Pederson praising Ross’ managing skills, including the fact he “communicates really good.”