Dave Martinez spent ten years as Joe Maddon’s bench coach, first in Tampa Bay, where he helped lead the Rays to the four postseason appearances, then in Chicago, where he was the bench manager for Maddon and the Cubs’ team that broke the 108-year World Series drought in the Windy City.
Over the years, Martinez has interviewed for a number of managerial openings, with Maddon championing his 53-year-old bench coach, who played 16 seasons total in the majors, putting up a combined .276/.341/.389 line with nine different organizations before starting a second career in the game.
“He's definitely ready to manage,” Maddon told reporters before the Wild Card Game in 2015.
“What does he do well? Like when I went to the Angels years ago with [Mike] Scioscia, Scioscia gave me a lot of latitude regarding to just do my job. His advice to me on a daily basis was that I would walk in the door and go about my business as though I was going to manage that particular day.
“So that was the primary premise of me being a bench coach, and I want Davie to be the same way.”
“He understands all the numbers that are out there,” Maddon added. “He understands people and tough conversations. He's really good at tough conversations. He's very straight up, straightforward, and up front. I think that's really vital. You have to have those Godfather days, man, when sometimes you've just got to be blunt and honest with somebody in order to get your point across. He's got all that.”
“Why Martinez doesn’t have a managing job with a rebuilding team is beyond me,” Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo told veteran Washington Post columnist Thomas Boswell after Martinez’s name came up during the Nationals’ search for a new manager in 2013.
“He’s smart and he has all his ideas mapped out about how he wants things run.”
Before Washington decided to part ways with veteran skipper Dusty Baker after two years in the nation’s capital, two division titles, and two NLDS losses, Maddon talked again about wanting to see his bench coach get an opportunity.
"It's baffling to me a bit why (Martinez isn't considered) more often,” Maddon said, as quoted by Chicago Tribune writer Mark Gonzales in early October.
“He's been around a lot of winning teams here, and not only that, him as a player, that's what drew me to him a bit with the Rays. I never had been with him as a teammate but watched him play. He was such a heady, aggressive, gritty kind of player and bilingual. All that matters. He's not afraid to have tough conversation a lot of times people in that position may shy away from."
"I don't quite understand it," Maddon continued.
"Believe me, I see all the names. There are a lot of good names, and I like a lot of these dudes. But I'm just telling you. To not include his name with those other people baffles me."
Martinez was quickly identified as the frontrunner for the Nationals’ job this time around, and he interviewed with Washington this past Thursday before reports via multiple outlets this weekend said he’d landed the job.
According to a report by Washington Post writer Chelsea Janes this morning, the Nats have signed the first-time manager to a three-year deal, after signing Dusty Baker to a 2-year/$4M deal before the 2016 campaign.
The WaPost reported noted earlier this week that the, “Nationals ownership might be willing to provide a longer deal to their next manager, in part because of the state of the market,” which saw rookie manager Alex Cora sign a three-year deal with the Boston Red Sox, and veteran Ron Gardenhire get a three-year contract with the Detroit Tigers.
Martinez, pending an official announcement from the team, which may not come until after the conclusion of the World Series, will become the Nationals’ seventh full-time manager since baseball returned to the nation’s capital in 2005.
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