Ross arguably had the coolest ending to a baseball career in history when he homered in his final at-bat during Game 7 of the World Series and then was promptly carried off the field by his teammates. It was Ross’ last game as he announced at the beginning of the season that 2016 would be his last rodeo but what a last rodeo it was. 2016 turned into one big farewell party for Ross and was filled with milestones, laughs, and a whole lot of memories.
About a month after Game 7, Ross decided to take a position in the front office with the Cubs to see how the “other side” of baseball works. Not long after he began his front office job, he announced that he’d taken on yet another job working for ESPN as a baseball analyst for the 2017 season.
So much for taking it easy during retirement.
Ross recently sat down with For The Win and gave his thoughts on the 2017 Chicago Cubs in which he said there was “no doubt” that it was a possibility for the Cubs to be the first team since the Yankees of the late 90’s to repeat.
“You’ve got Kyle Schwarber, who is hungry because he missed all of last season. Jason Heyward is working and trying to have a bounce back year. You’ve got Addison Russell, who is still growing. Kris Bryant is only going to get better, which, isn’t that crazy? I like Albert Almora, who is hungry.”
Ross said he also believes the bullpen will be better than they were in 2016 which says a whole helluva lot since the ’16 pen was pretty damn good. He said the team still looks hungry during Spring Training and said a lot of that is due to the youth of the team.
“They look hungry. Guys have been at spring training for a while and they didn’t have to be. There’s a sense of energy.”
Even with all that energy at Cubs camp, Ross still has one major concern going into the 2017 season — health. Last season, the Cubs were very fortunate to avoid any major injuries throughout the course of the season and when Dexter Fowler’s strained hamstring was probably the biggest injury of the season, that’s a pretty fortunate team.
In addition to health, Ross is concerned with who will fill the aforementioned Fowler’s role as a lead-off hitter.
“I’m a traditional baseball guy and I like to see a true lead-off hitter. Whether it’s Kyle, or whoever they put in that lead-off spot, it’s how they work through the line-up from that position.”
Few analysts will bring more baseball knowledge to the table than what David Ross can bring. It’ll be interesting to see how he continues to break down a team in a city that will be forever grateful for his role in the 2016 World Series run.
I’ll be honest — Ross could completely throw the 2017 Cubs under the bus and I’d still listen to what he has to say because he’s just that damn likable as a person and now — as an analyst.