The 42-year-old will be managing many players that he was once teammates with, including Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant. He was one of five candidates to replace Joe Maddon, whom the Cubs parted ways with on the final day of the 2019 regular season. Maddon has since been hired by the Los Angeles Angels to replace Brad Ausmus. Ross played two seasons under Maddon, and will now lead that same team that he once celebrated with in the Windy City. The new manager was a hero for the Cubs in Game 7 of the World Series, hitting a home run in their thrilling win over the Cleveland Indians. He will now try to bring them back to success, but this time from the dugout in a much larger role for the historic franchise.
Elsewhere, the Philadelphia Phillies are all in to making the most of the $300 million they gave Bryce Harper last February, and they've turned to a guy that has haunted them in their past. The Phillies have hired Joe Girardi as their new manager, the same man that managed the New York Yankees over the Phillies in the 2009 World Series. Philadelphia gave the former MLB Network Analyst a three-year contract, which includes a team option for the 2023 campaign. He will replace Gabe Kapler, who was fired after two tough seasons, despite the big off-season addition. In both of his seasons, Kapler's teams got off to hot starts, but fell out of the Postseason race late in the second half of each season.
Girardi is taking over a team that finished 81-81 this past season, and has not had a winning season since the 2011 campaign. That was the final year of their run that included five straight NL East Titles, two National League pennants, and one World Series win over the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008. That success was under another veteran in Charlie Manuel, which could be the key to this franchise finding more success. Girardi also interviewed with the New York Mets and the Cubs. The Mets are still looking for their head man, meaning they lost out on hiring the former Yankees' manager. Experience was clearly what the Phillies were looking for, as they also interviewed Buck Showalter and Dusty Baker, before closing in on the deal with Girardi this past Thursday. The 55-year-old spent 10 seasons with the Yankees, going 910-710 in that span, and taking home that one World Series ring.
The San Diego Padres are also looking for a manager to help them find success after adding a major star in Manny Machado, but they went with someone who is not as well known. The Padres hired Jayce Tingler as their manager, getting him from the Texas Rangers' coaching staff. The 38-year-old replaces Andy Green, who was fired by the Padres on September 21st after going 274-366 since the beginning of the 2016 season. The team turned to Rod Barajas as their interim manager for the remainder of the season, as they missed out on the Postseason for a 13th straight year.
The Padres finished in last place in the NL West Division, 36 games behind the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers at 70-92, in their first season since giving Machado a $300 million contract. The team does have high hopes for more reasons than just Machado, as Fernando Tatis Jr. proved to be a valuable asset before getting hurt in the final month. Chris Paddack was another highlight for the lowly Padres' rotation. Tatis hit .322 with 22 home runs, 53 RBI, and 16 stolen bases through 84 games, while Paddack went 9-7 with a 3.33 ERA in his rookie season. The Padres will be looking to build around their superstar and young stars, while moving forward with Tingler, whom they hired over the likes of Mark Loretta and Ron Washington.