CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs will reportedly hire David Ross as their next manager.

Multiple outlets confirmed the news Wednesday morning.

While Ross, 42, has no managerial experience, Cubs President Theo Epstein would be banking on the leadership Ross showed during a 15-year playing career, which culminated with the Cubs’ 2016 World Series title, and the evaluation skills Ross honed the last three seasons as a special assistant in baseball operations.

Epstein chose not to extend Joe Maddon’s contract after the Cubs missed the playoffs this year for the first time since 2014, blowing a 3{-game lead in the NL Central with 47 games left. They went 19-27 in one-run games and 20-36 in road night games, and Epstein said their 73.8% contact rate was the worst in baseball.

One day after parting with Maddon, Epstein said the next Cubs manager “will be a success if he can get the most out of each player.”

“It’s an obvious goal,” Epstein said, “but we want to make sure the players we have, we’re developing them and creating an environment where they can continue to grow and thrive. If we have players who can be successful major-league players, we have to find a way to make it here.”

As soon as Maddon’s departure was official, many players expressed their familiarity with Ross, who played for the Cubs in 2015-16.

“When it came down to it, he’s my boss,” pitcher Jon Lester said. “Whoever that (next manager) is, if it is Rossy, I’m sure we’ll butt heads just like I did with Joe.

“At the same time, I’ll respect the hell out of him. And he’s my boss. He makes the decision, he makes the decision. And you have to respect that.”

 

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