During his postgame availability, Ross said the Pirates are quote, “not a good team” and said the poor performance is on him:
David Ross, postgame after the Cubs 8-6 loss to the Pirates: “That’s not a good team that just took 2 out of 3 from us. Or not our caliber of team I believe. We have to turn it around. Its on me. Its on the guys in the room."— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) September 22, 2023
Let’s step back for a second. This comment, in my opinion, wasn’t completely made out of arrogance. Ross expects and demands perfection from his team night in and night out no matter who they play.
To a point, he’s right. The Pirates, on paper, are not a good team, and I’m sure other NL Central teams would share the sentiment. They’re a roster made of rookies, quad-A players and, for the most part, relievers and two starting pitchers.
What he doesn’t see is that the Pirates are an spry and upbeat group of young players who have a winning mentality and they win games by rallying around each other.
What’s funny is that the Pirates are self-aware and know they aren’t quite up there with the “big dogs” of the MLB, but they play every game like they’re in the middle of a tight pennant race.
Endy Rodriguez put it best when he told Alex Stumpf of DK Pittsburgh Sports:
“We don’t have the best team in the league, but we still have the talent to fight for the f---ing playoffs.”
Then, you look at someone like Joshua Palacios, who never really had a chance in the majors. While he’s not a star, he’s proven that he can make a difference on and off the field. His enthusiasm is contagious and it lifts everyone else up.
We could go on about how each individual player contributes in more than one way, but we’d be here all day.
Ross knows his team is good, but saying the 2023 Pirates aren’t is just untrue. If he were to say that last year or even in 2021, that’s understandable, but this year’s team has exceeded all expectations.
At least the Pirates took Ross’s comments and had some fun with it.
Rather than throw teams like the Pirates under the bus, Ross needs to focus on getting the Cubs back on a hot streak and into the playoff picture before it’s too late.