In a press release this morning, the Washington Nationals confirmed whar multiple reports this weekend suggested: Dave Martinez has been hired as the Nats’ seventh full-time manager, succeeding Dusty Baker on the bench in the nation’s capital.
Martinez, 53, has served as Cubs’ skipper Joe Maddon’s bench coach in Tampa Bay and Chicago, but this is his first managerial gig.
We are delighted to bring Dave [Martinez] aboard and excited about what he will bring to our clubhouse and our dugout,” Managing Principal owner Theodore N. Lerner said in the press release from the team.
”We have been very clear about our goals as an organization and we feel confident we’ve found the right man to help us reach them.”
The Nationals’ goals, as laid out by GM Mike Rizzo in announcing they would move on from Baker, include taking the next step after four division titles and four NLDS losses in the last six seasons.
“Our expectations have grown to the fact that winning a lot of regular season games and winning divisions are not enough,“ Rizzo said. “Our goal is to win a World Championship.”
In the press release today, Rizzo said they determined Martinez was the right man for the job.
“I am excited to bring Dave into our family,” Rizzo said. “As we went through this process it became clear the type of manager we were looking for – someone who is progressive, someone who can connect with and communicate well with our players, and someone who embraces the analytical side of the game. We came away from the process feeling like there was absolutely no one better suited – who matched up to what this organization needs right now – than Dave.”
Martinez’s clubs in Tampa Bay and Chicago, today’s press release notes, “... have made it to the Postseason in seven of his 10 seasons as a coach,” but he’ll be taking over a team, in his first season as a manager, that has lofty expectations after the previous regular season successes and postseason losses.
The Nationals noted in today’s press release that in accordance with Major League Baseball’s rules on announcements during the World Series, they will offer no further comments on the hiring, though news on an introductory press conference will be forthcoming.