Ross, 42, who is considered a leading candidate to succeed Maddon as the team’s manager, was asked during Sunday’s Baseball Tonight show if he would have interest in the job if the team reached out to him.
“I think it’s one of the best jobs in baseball,” Ross said. “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.
“The rumors are flattering. It makes you think about a lot of things. I’ve got a nice job here at ESPN that I enjoy and gives me a lot of free time with my three kids.”
Ross played his final two seasons with the Cubs, which included a World Series championship in 2016.
Ross was asked if the close relationships with many of the players would impact his job as manager.
“You never know until you sit in the manager’s seat how hard it really is to have those tough conversations with guys” Ross responded.
“I’m kind of an open person; when I was teammates with a lot of these guys I shot them straight.
“I loved my teammates when I played with them; every team that I played for. But I also try to tell guys the truth in love, and so I think the best managers I have had do that exact same thing — they have great conversations, they communicate, they walk that line between authority and leadership and being a friend as well. I think that’s the line you’ve got to kind of walk with players and you never know until you are in that seat.
“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.”
Ross would certainly be welcomed by players if he were to be hired, and Cubs’ superstar Kris Bryant talked about Ross’ potential as the next manager of the team.
“I’ve always looked at Rossy as a coach when he played here,” Bryant said, according to ESPN. “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.”
Cubs’ first baseman Anthony Rizzo also chimed in and shared his thoughts about the possibility of Ross being the manager.
“If it was Rossy, I’d obviously sit down; I’ve talked to him about it before,” Rizzo said. “He’s in a really good place now at home with his family and what he’s doing and he’s happy. The pros and the cons. I mean, he’s the biggest mentor in this game other than [Maddon]. Can it work? Yes. But I don’t know which direction we are going in.”
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