MLB rumors: 'Tense' David Ross conversation was climax of Cubs betrayal

After being told his job was safe after the 2023 season, the Chicago Cubs still replaced David Ross with Craig Counsell when they had the opportunity.
Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs
Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages

David Ross did not see this coming because the majority of baseball fans, pundits and executives did not see this coming. In a piece published in The Athletic by Sahadev Sharma, the Chicago reporter detailed exactly how the Cubs-Counsell match came to be.

President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer never considered Counsell much of an option, assuming he would have a new home before Nov. 1, when he would officially become a free agent. However, when November came around and Counsell was still available, the pair met late into the night. By the following Sunday, a deal was on the table and agreed to.

Cubs: How Jed Hoyer told David Ross about Craig Counsell hiring

This is when Counsell flew to Florida to talk to then-existing manager David Ross, who was blindsided by all of this. Here is how Sharma describes that conversation:

"Hoyer immediately booked a flight to Florida to meet with Ross in Tallahassee. The two had a long and at times tense conversation, during which general manager Carter Hawkins called some staff and players to deliver the news, and word quickly spread throughout the team," Sharm wrote.

It's understandable that Ross didn't quite get where Hoyer was coming from in the moment. Hoyer did, of course, talk up the Cubs manager after the season.

“I was very pleased with Rossy this year,” Hoyer said in early October. “Coming from being 10 under (.500) and sort of maintaining the competitiveness but also having the team never focus on individual stuff, we never lost that. Creating that type of culture is very difficult, and he does a fantastic job of that.”

On Tuesday, Hoyer spoke for the first time since hiring Counsell, suggesting there was no ill will aimed at Ross, who the team still admired as a manager.

“This is no knock on Rossy, who I think incredibly highly of, but Craig is at the very top of the game. Its hard to rank managers but he’s at the very top of the game," Hoyer said.

Seemingly every comment made by Hoyer only makes this worse.