The Chicago Cubs have reportedly hired David Ross to become their next manager.
Ross, a former catcher who won the World Series while with the Cubs in 2016, had been a special assistant with the organization since prior to the start of the 2017 season and had also served as an analyst with ESPN.
Ross, 42, spent 15 seasons in the major leagues playing for the Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres and Cubs. While he only appeared in more than 100 games once during his career, he became a valuable asset as a backup catcher and clubhouse leader.
Ross holds a special place in the hearts of Cubs fans. He became the oldest person–at 39–to hit a home run in a World Series, doing so against the Cleveland Indians in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series.
Ross has a long history with the president of baseball operations, Theo Epstein, the Cubs’ front office and many of the players on the current roster – some of whom were his teammates three years ago.
“We’re not going to drag this out any longer than it needs to be, but we also want to be thorough,” Epstein said at the end of the season, according to MLB.com. “In the interview process, you want to make sure you don’t end up with the candidate who interviews the best. You want to end up with the candidate that’s going to be the best manager.”
He added: “That can be nuanced. We’re going to do the best we can in that process, but we’re certainly not going to hesitate.”
Ross will take over a team that underachieved in 2018. The Joe Maddon-led squad was 84-78 and barely missed the postseason. Maddon left at the end of the season and swiftly secured a job managing the Los Angeles Angels.