CHICAGO — Now looking across Wrigley Field at his former teammate and manager during his tenure with the Chicago Cubs, Kris Bryant sees and praises the job that David Ross is doing in getting the Cubs back into a position to contend for the postseason.
In town with the Colorado Rockies for the final home series of the regular season and met with a standing ovation in Friday's opening matchup, Bryant opened up on his relationship with Ross both as a Cubs teammate (2015-16) and as a player (2020-21) when Ross took over as manager.
Kris Bryant on David Ross as a teammate and manager with Chicago Cubs
"When I played with him, he was essentially like a player-coach," Bryant said. "He kind of watched over all of us young guys and kept us on our toes. I think that being a manager is a perfect scenario for him. He can relate with a lot of the guys. He related with a lot of us over there because we played with him."
That change from teammate to manager, Bryant said, was a bit of an adjustment.
"It was a little different because I saw him as a friend too," Bryant said. "Now he's going from my teammate to my manager. It's just a different relationship, but I thought that he transitioned perfectly."
As different as the relationship might have become in Chicago, it's clear that little has changed in terms of the relationship between Cubs fans and the 31-year-old Bryant. Friday's game marked the second series that Bryant had returned to Wrigley Field since being traded at the 2021 trade deadline.
He returned later that season as a member of the San Francisco Giants in an emotional moment, but was injured last season when the Rockies made their only trip to Wrigley. However, every time Bryant has taken the field as a member of the opposing team, fans have shown their appreciation for his seven seasons as a member of the Cubs, including 2016, when he was named NL MVP following Chicago winning the World Series.