How David Ross Hire Impacts Chicago Cubs 2020 World Series Odds


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We’ve seen it time and time again- former catchers make great managers. There are many reasons for that, but primary is the fact that they played one of just two positions directly involved in every single play in the field. The other is pitcher of course, but hurlers have their back turned to everything else that’s going on in the diamond behind them.

Catchers see it all and perhaps that’s why they often develop an enlightened knowledge of and keener sense for the game. The Chicago Cubs are hoping that this will be the case with David Ross, who won the World Series with the club as a player in 2016. Yesterday brought Ross’ official product rollout/launch (a grand exercise in talking without saying anything), something that is formally referred to in the business as an “introductory press conference.”

During that cliche convention product launch Ross stated his ambitions of bringing another World Series title back to Clark & Addison, but what are the odds of that? With the 2019 World Series set to come to an end, perhaps even tonight, within a matter of hours, it’s time to take a look at the 2020 MLB World Series predictions. How does the David Ross hire move the smart money in Vegas? Are the odds now longer or more favorable?

We looked at this issue a couple weeks ago (it’s not like there was anything else to talk about Cubs related during the NLDS, for the second year in a row) and we found that Westgate backed the Cubs at 20/1 to win it all. Only four teams in the National League, and eight overall were backed better than the North-Siders. Not bad for a team that missed the postseason this year and only reached the play-in game in 2018.

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So now with Grandpa Rossy (that nickname/bit needs to go now by the way, we’ll explain why shortly) on board, how did the line move? It didn’t. Westgate still has the Cubs at 20/1 with 10/1 odds of winning the National League. Their NL pennant odds are 10/1, tied with the Mets and Phillies, and behind four teams: Dodgers, Braves, Nationals and Cardinals. Safe to say, Vegas was not all impressed with the Cubs bringing Ross back.

There are several different ways you can take this decision. Yes, he has zero previous managerial experience, but we’ve seen recently, on plenty of occasions that this doesn’t rule out success. He knows the club culture inside and out, and brings excellent familiarity and rapport with the inside of the club house.

However, maybe an insider isn’t the right move for this franchise right now? The past two years have certainly shown us that the time is right for a reset and revamp of sorts, and probably the best way to do that is to bring in a fresh new voice.

Maybe Ross will be the Cub Whisperer who can get things right again, but the Grandpa Rossy shtick has got to go. It was fine then, in that dynamic in 2016, but a.) the joke is long stale and b.) it doesn’t work here in this new situation. It may have been cute that this Gen Xer was buddy buddy with all these millenials a few years ago, but now he’s their authority figure.

All in all, it’s easy to not have very strong feelings, either way, on the David Ross appointment. Clearly the sports books don’t.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC and Chicago on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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