David Ross didn’t exactly ride off into the sunset once Cubs teammates Anthony Rizzo and Jason Heyward picked him up onto their shoulders and carried him off the field after last year’s World Series Game 7 in Cleveland.
Ross “retired” and spent the last year performing on “Dancing with the Stars,” writing a memoir that’s already in movie development, appearing on multiple ESPN platforms and working as a special assistant in Theo Epstein’s front office.
Meaning it won’t be easy for the Cubs to pull Ross back in after Sunday’s news that Dave Martinez will be the next Washington Nationals manager.
Two sources familiar with Grandpa Rossy’s situation and the team’s thinking framed it like this: Ross would be on the short list of ideal candidates to become Joe Maddon’s bench coach, but it’s also doubtful that the timing will be right for someone who is raising a young family in Florida and has so many off-the-field interests. After getting so little time off this year, Ross is said to be waiting until after the World Series is over before even considering anything else for next season.
One internal candidate could be Brandon Hyde, the first base coach for the last three seasons and a bench coach for Rick Renteria (2014) and with the Florida Marlins (2010-11).
Ross is only 40 years old and can pretty much write his own job description, whether it’s eventually taking the leap as a big-league manager, focusing on broadcasting or pursuing more crossover opportunities in the sports/entertainment worlds.
Ross already has built-in relationships in the clubhouse from his time as Jon Lester’s personal catcher and another kind of big brother to Rizzo. Heyward had been so appreciative of the way Ross looked after him when he came up with the Atlanta Braves that he said thanks by paying for a hotel suite upgrade on the road all last season.
But in terms of new voices and different messages, Maddon and his players will already be working with high-profile new coaches Jim Hickey (pitching) and Chili Davis (hitting) and well-regarded third base coach Brian Butterfield.
Jeff Nelson, Tim Stebbins, and Tony Andracki fill in for host David Kaplan as they discuss how different this year's Cubs convention will be compared to previous years and how awkward it will be for Kris Bryant and other players who could be traded before the season. They also get into baseball's cheating issue, and Tony Andracki makes a huge announcement.
(1:08) - Different feel at Cubs Con
(3:10) - Cubs putting Kris Bryant in an awkward spot
(4:44) - Anthony Rizzo says he might not be a Cub long term
(6:33) - How will Cubs fans show displeasure at Cubs Con
(10:24) - What will it take for Sammy Sosa to be accepted by the Cubs
(13:54) - Baseball's cheating scandal is spreading
(20:07) - Tony Andracki's BIG announcement
Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:
In the wake of their infamous sign-stealing scandal, the Astros could look to the North Side to fill their suddenly vacant managerial seat.
According to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Cubs have granted the Astros permission to interview Will Venable for manager.
MLB conducted a thorough investigation into a report from The Athletic stating the Astros electronically stole signs during their 2017 championship season. The findings resulted in general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch receiving year-long suspensions Monday before the Astros subsequently fired both from their respective posts.
RELATED: David Ross and Anthony Rizzo react to Astros cheating scandal, subsequent fallout
Venable joined the Cubs in September 2017 as a special assistant in the front office. He joined the on-field staff as first base coach in 2018, a position he held through last season. The 37-year-old also spent time as third base coach when Brian Butterfield dealt with health issues in 2019.
The Cubs named Venable third base coach this offseason following Butterfield’s departure to Joe Maddon’s Angels. Prior to that, Venable interviewed for the Cubs’ managerial opening — which went to David Ross — as well as the Giants’ opening, which went to former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler.
The Astros have already reportedly interviewed Buck Showalter for manager and are set to meet with John Gibbons, too.
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