NEIGH­BORS get to know ross

Chicago Sun-Times - - CUBS BEAT - Steve Green­berg

What bet­ter time than this to be sit­u­ated close to Wrigley Field?

That’s what David Ross fig­ured when he took up res­i­dence near the ball­park for what might only be the rest of the sum­mer.

Think: a rookie man­ager walk­ing, not driv­ing, to work.

“I walk to the field ev­ery day and get a lot of hel­los from fans,” Ross said. “I think peo­ple in the com­mu­nity are start­ing to know what my mask looks like, and my bald head.”

Day 1 of Cubs work­outs on Fri­day was, for Ross, a restart of the run-up to his man­age­rial de­but. And it was a long time com­ing. At one point, Ross, wear­ing a gray T-shirt, blue shorts and gym shoes, walked along the third-base line chant­ing and clap­ping:

“De-fense! De-fense!” Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap. And re­peat.

He did this while no one was man­ning any de­fen­sive po­si­tion. Rust? No. Just a guy happy as heck to have some grass and dirt un­der his feet.

“It’s nice to be out­side,” Ross said. “It’s such a beau­ti­ful day in Chicago. We’ve got this gor­geous, his­toric venue to work from. It’s nice to come to work.”

That goes for get­ting to work, too. “We’ve missed base­ball,” he said.

Dishing on Q’s re­place­ment

Ross was greeted Thurs­day with an up­date on start­ing pitcher Jose Quin­tana that left him shak­ing his head. The lefty is out for an in­de­ter­mi­nate length of time af­ter an in­jury while wash­ing dishes led to surgery.

“This is a new one from the man­ager’s stand­point, where you’re sit­ting in your seat and you get a phone call that has noth­ing to do with COVID, but you’re go­ing to be miss­ing a player for a while,” Ross said. “Yeah, it’s ter­ri­ble to get those calls.”

Ross echoed pres­i­dent Theo Ep­stein in nam­ing Alec Mills and Colin Rea as po­ten­tial stand-ins for Quin­tana in the rotation. And he threw in an ad­di­tional name: Jharel Cot­ton, a 28-year-old righty ac­quired from the Ath­let­ics af­ter the 2019 sea­son.

Game on

The Cubs will jump right into heavy ac­tion Satur­day with a three-in­ning in­trasquad scrimmage. Pitch­ers haven’t been named, though starters Yu Darvish, Kyle Hen­dricks and Jon Lester all kept up solid rou­tines dur­ing the shut­down and are pretty well stretched out, ac­cord­ing to Ross. ✶

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