David Ross, unlike many former Cubs managers, remains silent

  • November 15, 2023

Former Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum was fired by Theo Epstein in 2013 over a beer at the Newport Bar, a bar/laundry where the bartender watched the game as if it were a real game.

Sveum faced reporters outside Wrigley Field when the news was announced the next day, saying: “Two weeks ago, I didn’t think this would happen.”

Joe Maddon and Epstein announced their amicable divorce at Busch Stadium on the final day of the 2019 season, holding a press conference to give the story of a difficult disagreement no one could buy.

Jim Riggleman stood in the corner of the home clubhouse at Wrigley Field after being fired on the final day of the 1999 season and answered wave after wave of questions for 45 minutes. He admitted that he allowed “little things” to go on, such as allowing Sammy Sosa’s team free access to the clubhouse.

Don Zimmer invited hit writers to his Manhattan hotel room when the Cubs fired him in 1991 and told them to clean out the bar. Attaching the Tribune Co. with the tab was his last riot.

Dusty Baker shared his thoughts on his last day as Cubs manager in 2006 in a tight room he dubbed “the dugout” after spending an entire season hearing speculation that he was on his way. “All things must come to an end,” he said. “I wish we could have done it, but we didn’t.”

In the long and storied history of sacked Cubs managers, David Ross has had it easier than most of his predecessors.

With the season over a month earlier, Ross was back home in Florida last week when he got the news from President Jed Hoyer that his duties were no longer needed, that former Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell would replace him in the Cubs dugout.

As painful as it was to read the verbal support of Chairman Tom Ricketts and Hoyer – let alone the Marquee Sports Network – it didn’t mean much in the long run, at least Ross was spared the pain of answering questions about the approach. he felt and what he planned to do next.

Rick Renteria didn’t say anything to the media in the months after he was shockingly fired for Maddon in 2014, and after a few days of not commenting, it looked like Ross might do the same.

But Ross answered a few questions from a Tallahassee Democrat reporter Thursday without providing details. He says everything he should by thanking the Cubs for giving him a job even though he has no management experience. But he didn’t mention Hoyer’s name when he talked about his firing.

“If my manager doesn’t think I’m a good manager, he should move on,” Ross said. “I don’t blame him for that. If he doesn’t think I’m a good man, that’s his job. That’s his choice. I have my thoughts and opinions that I will keep to myself.”

Ross admitted that he is “angry from time to time” about his dismissal but insisted that he does not hold grudges.

“Anger and all that stuff is poison to me,” he said.

That’s really good to hear if it’s true. Anyone in Ross’ position would probably be upset with how it went down, especially after Hoyer revealed to the media that he would be back.

Ross could have easily asked a reporter how any manager could have won with the bench he was sitting on in September or why Hoyer didn’t give him bullpen help at the trade deadline or why the Cubs brought back a rehabbing Marcus Stroman to knock him down. to stretch.

Hoyer’s fingerprints were also on the Cubs’ downfall, as were the players.

But Ross kept mum, and that was probably a wise decision. There is no need for Ross to pull the trigger on Herman Franks, the former Cubs manager who dumped his players, including Bill Buckner and Mike Vail, after he resigned in 1979. “There’s not enough money in the world to pay me to manage if I have to look at that face every day,” Franks said of Vail.

Venting is a lost art, and keeping his “thoughts and ideas” to himself makes sense.

Although Ross wanted to sound independent, reminding his fans who criticized him on social media that he was the manager and he was not, he still acted more like a player than a manager. He didn’t really consider himself their boss.

In the end, firing Ross seemed more like a roster transaction — almost like picking Eric Hosmer for assignment — than the firing of the Cubs’ franchise manager. Counsell was simply a high-priced free agent to replace him.

Before the second-to-last game of the season, Ross shared the blame for the wild-card blowout.

“We’re in this together,” Ross said in Milwaukee after the Cubs’ exit. “I would not separate myself from any player, front office, coach. If we don’t get where we want to get, I’m the manager of this team. The blame should be on me first.”

It did, as it turned out, much to Ross’ dismay.

Ross should be back in the game at some level, though whether he’ll get another chance to manage soon is anyone’s guess. Sveum was hired as the coach of the Kansas City Royals three days after he was fired, knowing he would not get the chance.

“I didn’t want to wait,” Sveum said that day. “I want to be on the field. People say ‘Try this or try that.’ I’m a guy who wears a uniform and likes to go to work.”

Chicago Tribune Sports

Days of the week

A daily sports newsletter delivered to your inbox for your morning commute.

Ross also likes to wear a uniform. Will his ego allow him to take the job as a base coach?

He could always go back to being a TV commentator, where he started with ESPN after his playing career. Or he can spend time with his family doing whatever he wants. As Ross’ friend and former Cub Ryan Dempster said in “Speech of Purpose,” “the world is his oyster.”

Cubs management has been under scrutiny because of the team’s history and the love of its fans.

“If you win it all with the cubs, they’ll rename the lake,” former announcer Bob Brenly said in 2006.

Maddon later found out that wasn’t true.

Lake Michigan was never renamed Lake Maddon, and that 2016 championship seems like ancient history after Ross’ firing. Counsel will be introduced Monday at Wrigley, and a new era begins.