Former Boston Red Sox catcher David Ross is trading in his role of making headlines as a player to analyzing them for ESPN.
David Ross was praised for his high baseball IQ throughout his 15-year career behind the plate. Now the former Boston Red Sox catcher will put that knowledge to good use by sharing his analysis of the game on a national stage.
ESPN announced on Monday that Ross will join the company as an MLB analyst. The veteran catcher appeared as a guest analyst for ESPN in 2014 and 2015, proving he has the chops for the role.
Ross expressed his excitement to begin his new career in a statement released by ESPN.
"“I’m excited to dive right in and start talking baseball with my new colleagues at ESPN,” said Ross. “It truly is the worldwide leader in sports and I’m grateful for the opportunity to join this incredible team. We’re going to have a lot of fun this season.”"
His new position as an analyst follows his retirement at the conclusion of the 2016 World Series, when Ross won a championship with the Chicago Cubs. The 39-year old delivered a solo home run in the decisive Game 7, becoming the oldest player ever to do so, to help the Cubs win their first title in 108 years.
Three years earlier, Ross won his first World Series championship as a member of the Red Sox. He originally came to Boston in 2008, but appeared in only eight games before moving on to the Atlanta Braves for four seasons. He returned to Boston in 2013 to play a pivotal role on their run to a title.
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While Ross was primarily used as a backup catcher, his veteran leadership was a welcome addition to a clubhouse that was in desperate need of a makeover following a season in which a toxic atmosphere sent the franchise into a spiral to the bottom of the division.
He became a trusted battery mate to Jon Lester, who strung together one of the most dominant postseason runs by a pitcher in franchise history that year. Lester’s rapport with his catcher deserves some credit for that performance. His defense and game calling skills behind the dish earned him the team’s trust to take over as the primary catcher for a struggling Jarrod Saltalamacchia late in the postseason, with Ross getting the start in four of the six World Series games against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Over parts of three seasons with the Red Sox, Ross hit .195/.271/.366 with 11 home runs in 94 games. While he didn’t provide much production with the bat, he provided value in several other ways and his contributions to this franchise won’t be forgotten.
ESPN’s statement regarding the addition of Ross points out his veteran leadership, charisma and candor as qualities that they believe will make him an excellent analyst. Having followed Ross’ career during his brief time in Boston, it’s hard to argue with that.
The statement also recognizes that Ross has won World Series titles with two of the most iconic franchises in baseball, which ESPN feels is a unique experience that will greatly benefit their audience. The Red Sox certainly benefited from having him here.
Ross will undoubtedly make a positive contribution in his new role and his vast knowledge of the game will be a welcome addition to ESPN broadcasts.