The Chicago Cubs are beginning their search in earnest for the team’s next manager, and there is already one name that is confirmed to be on the radar of Team President Theo Epstein.
In a press conference Monday, Epstein confirmed that former Cubs catcher David Ross is on the team’s list as a potential candidate to replace Joe Maddon, who managed his final game with the team on Sunday.
“He’s on our broad list of candidates. He’s one of many candidates,” Epstein said.
Ross discussed the possibility of joining the Cubs as the team’s manager in a Sunday appearance on ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight,” saying that he would certainly listen if the Cubs wanted to discuss the position.
“I think my heart is drawn to that dugout a little bit,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of thinking to do if this gets presented to me as everyone says will happen. I’m sure waiting for that phone call.”
Several reports have indicated that Ross is arguably the favorite to replace Maddon, who leaves the Cubs after five seasons on the North Side.
While some have questioned whether Ross’ inexperience at the helm of a team would be a detriment, Epstein said those concerns can be addressed in ways other than strictly managerial work.
“I always have greater comfort hiring for roles in which the person has done the role, but there are ways where that can be overcome,” he said. “Beliefs, skills, personal attributes can all outweigh a lack of experience.”
Cubs bench coach Mark Loretta and pitching coach Tommy Hottovy are also rumored to be potential candidates for the job, along with TV analysts and former Cubs players Joe Girardi and Mark DeRosa.
Epstein listed several characteristics that the team could be looking for in a new skipper, including a penchant for bringing people together and also a knack for inspiring the players to work hard to be the “best versions of themselves.”
“Work is going to be really important,” he said. “We need to find a way to create a culture and environment that compels every player to push themselves to become the very best version of themselves. We want that culture where that’s expected.”
Epstein said that the team is already aggressively putting together a list of candidates, but cautioned that the club isn’t going to rush through the process of finding a new manager.
“We’re not going to drag this out, but we also want to be thorough,” he said.