David Ross on Cubs Job: ‘My Heart Is Drawn to That Dugout’

Even during his playing days, David Ross was viewed as a future manager and even Joe Maddon’s eventual replacement. He recently deflected that talk, telling WGN’s Mark Carman that Maddon was worthy of an extension, but also said he felt the itch to return to the game in a more direct role.

Now that Maddon and the Cubs have officially parted ways, Ross doesn’t have to be so diplomatic. In fact, he can openly campaign for a much bigger role than the special advisor position he’s held since retiring as a player.

“I think it’s one of the best jobs in baseball,” Ross said Sunday on Baseball Tonight. “I’ve got a lot of close ties with those guys. I think the interest would be there. I think my heart is drawn to that dugout a little bit.”

He went on to temper that interest by saying he loves his ESPN job and the freedom it gives him to spend time with his kids, which makes sense. After all, campaigning for a new gig while on air with your current employee is generally frowned upon.

There will be a lot of talk about candidates for Maddon’s old job, with current bench coach Mark Loretta and former Yankees manager Joe Girardi topping the list. Loretta opened up as the odds-on favorite with Bovada, but he doesn’t move the needle and could be a casualty of a regime change. Girardi is embraced by those who believe he’ll kick ass and take names while deploying the bullpen properly, but he isn’t coming cheap and may have a bigger ego than the front office wants to deal with.

Some feel Ross’s lack of experience is a detriment, but ask Aaron Boone and Alex Cora about managing under big expectations as a rookie skipper. There there’s the notion that Ross is too close to the players to really get after them, but he was a known red-ass in the clubhouse and had no problem calling teammates out.

“I’ve always looked at Rossy as a coach when he played here,” Kris Bryant told ESPN’s Jesse Rogers. “Yeah, it was goofy, it was fun,it was energetic but when he needed to tell you something he let you hear it. From the very get-go I felt like this guy will be a manager some day for sure.”

Of course, all that really matters is what Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer think about Ross. Though they obviously haven’t commented on that recently, what with the dirt still fresh on Maddon’s grave and all, Rogers’ tweets may reveal their thinking.

So there you have it, done deal. Okay, not really, but Ross did say he’s waiting on the Cubs’ call and it’s hard to imagine him not picking up the phone. As for how adept he’ll be with picking up the phone and making calls to the ‘pen, that’s going to be interesting.

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