David Ross apologizes for gesture: ‘Don’t want any kids out there giving the birds’

The Cubs’ manager was caught on camera Thursday holding up both middle fingers.

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SAN FRANCISCO – A gesture that Cubs manager David Ross meant as a playfully crude greeting to a friend on the Giant’s side of the field went viral after being caught on camera Thursday night.

Screenshots of Ross holding up both middle fingers on the broadcast popped up all over social media early in the Cubs’ 4-2 loss to the Giants. His straight-faced expression only added to the meme’s impact. It was repurposed to show Cubs fans’ feelings about a variety of topics, but especially the upcoming trade deadline.

Ross opened his media availability Friday by apologizing for the gesture.

“I should definitely know better,” Ross said. “I don’t want any kids out there giving the birds to anybody. That’s not the way I want to represent this organization or myself and my family. Poor taste, sorry it was caught on camera.”

Ross declined to say who the birds were meant for. When asked if it was at least received well by the recipient, he said, “It definitely got the person’s attention, yes.”

Apparently, it got a lot of people’s attention.

Miley rehab start

The Aug. 2 trade deadline heightened interest in veteran lefty Wade Miley’s rehab start in Single-A South Bend on Friday.

Miley, working back from a left shoulder strain, hit his target of 35 pitches pretty much on the head. He threw 36 pitches in 2 ⅓ innings.

His final line wasn’t as pretty, aided by three errors behind him. Miley allowed five runs, four earned, and six hits. He also issued one walk and recorded one strikeout. But Miley has a long track record, and when healthy this year, he’s pitched well.

“I’m just progressively trying to get my buildup right this time,” Miley told the Sun-Times last week.”

When he came back from the elbow injury that sidelined him to start this season, Miley threw three innings, 64 pitches in his first start off the IL. Then, he jumped to seven innings, 83 pitches in his next outing.He’s only made four starts this season due to injury.

“It wasn’t on none of these guys, it was on me,” Miley said. “I was like, ‘I’m ready, let’s go.’ I’ve just gotta remember I’m 35, not 25 anymore. But I’m doing it right this time so far.”

Miley said he expects he’ll need at latest two starts before returning from the 15-day IL.

In past years, with waiver trades always available to add pitching depth in August, teams might not have been in as much of a rush to see what Miley could do ahead of the trade deadline. But MLB did away with that system in 2019. So, if teams are hoping to add pitching via trade, they have to do it before Tuesday’s deadline.

In other rehab news

Cubs second baseman Nick Madrigal (left groin strain) has found a groove at the plate since returning to his rehab assignment in Triple-A Iowa out of the All-Star break. He’s gone 6-for-18 with a double.

Fellow middle infielder Andrelton Simmons (right shoulder strain) joined Madrigal and the I-Cubs, starting a rehab assignment Thursday.

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