The Cubtober Diary: “Grandpa Rossy” takes it all in
CLEVELAND – Yes, the Cubs have lost games in 2016. They even lost a contest in the National League Division Series and two in the National League Championship Series.
In fact, they also were shutout twice in that series against the Dodgers. Yet the Cubs came back everytime, got better, and went on to victory. That’s why they are playing later into October than any other team in franchise history.
But when you lose in the World Series, it does add a little more weight. Cubs teams of the past half-century have played in National League playoff games but never the spotlight of the Fall Classic. Errors are further scrutinized as the stakes rise significantly – especially after not winning a World Series for 108 years. Luckily Grandpa is
Luckily Grandpa is here to provide some calm.
This is not the first World Series for David Ross nor his first loss in the Fall Classic. As one of the three players on the Cubs’ active roster with World Series experience, leaving to “Grandpa Rossi” to instill some relaxing wisdom to the club after they fell flat in a 6-0 loss in Game 1 at Progressive Field.
For the catcher, who will retire at the end of the series after a long MLB career, it’s all about taking it in.
“It’s small moments,” said Ross. “I stress out a lot especially in the moments before the game starts, but once we start getting into the game, it seems to slow down a lot more for me.”
While he can be a calming influence for his players he is also trying to make the most out of what he sees in these final games. Pregame activities take extra meaning along with every pitch caught and every pitch he swings at. Game 1 was one of those moments where he tried to take everything in as the Cubs started their first World Series in 71 years.
“Walking to the bullpen last night was really cool. Walking up those steps. A camera was following me, Jon’s locked in, the coaches and everybody’s quiet and stuff. And the fans are chirping at me a little bit. I’m like, you know what? I’m never going to be able to be a part of this again as far as these moments, so take this in. I’m trying to tell myself a lot, “Take this in. Take this in,” said Ross. “You’ll see me, if you pay attention, I’ll look up in the stands a lot, just because there are not too many times you get to be in front of 40, 50,000 people on the field and they’re all cheering for a team and you’re able to look up and it’s just a massive amount of people.
“The National Anthem for me last night, we’re standing in the top bullpen up there, you’re up on top, looking down at the anthem. Everybody’s standing up in the stands. You’ve got the stars and the flag. I mean, I asked our bullpen catcher, I said, “You don’t happen to have your cell phone on you right now so I can snap a picture of this?” Because it was a really, really cool moment.”