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Washington Nationals’ skipper Dave Martinez is not totally lacking in managerial experience...

In our continuing attempts to get to know new Nationals’ skipper Dave Martinez, a look at how he gained managerial experience as a bench coach...

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MLB: Washington Nationals-Press Conference Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

While the Washington Nationals’ first-time skipper Dave Martinez lacks any extensive experience managing in the majors outside of those occasions on which an ejection for manager Joe Maddon left him in charge of the Rays or the Cubs, he was encouraged, by Maddon, to approach his job as bench coach first in Tampa Bay and then in Chicago as if he were going to manage each day.

“When I went to the Angels years ago with [Mike] Scioscia,” Maddon told reporters in October, 2015, when asked if his right hand man was ready to manage, “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 Davey to be the same way. So Davey, when he comes to the ballpark every day, he walks in the door as though he's going to manage the game. And there is a pretty good chance that I'm going to get kicked out, so he's got to be ready to do that.

“Beyond that,” Maddon continued, “he understands all the numbers that are out there.

“He understands people and tough conversations. He's really good at tough conversations. He's very straight up, straight-forward, and up front.

MLB: Washington Nationals-Press Conference Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

“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.

“I think by having done this for several years now, he really understands pitching,” Maddon added.

“I think that's a big part of it. The advantage of having been a catcher for me is the fact that I understood that coming into this whole thing. I think if he had not been a catcher, to be able to be a bench coach and really understand what's going on with the pitching matters a lot. Not a little bit, a lot. So he's done it for a while, and he's definitely ready. He's absolutely ready. Some team's going to get lucky.”

Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo, in an appearance on the MLB Network Show MLB Now last week, said the experiences Martinez had by Maddon’s side for ten seasons were a big selling point when he interviewed for the job opening in the nation’s capital.

“Davey Martinez is a guy that I’ve known for a long time,” Rizzo explained.

“He comes [as] a highly-credentialed person, 16-year big league-type of player who grew up in the dugout next to Joe Maddon for [ten] years, being his bench coach, and kind of co-managing it for the last couple years according to Joe and Davey.

“He’s got a great rapport with players, he’s handled the 25th man on the roster and also these big-time stars such as Anthony Rizzo and [Kris] Bryant and that group of guys. So he checked a lot of boxes for us. I think that he’s going to give us an energy and [has] an analytical kind of savvy to him, [has] been with two of the most analytically-successful organizations in baseball and I think he’s going to bring a lot to the ballclub in the clubhouse and on the field.”

“I’ve got a little bit of old school, with a lot of new school,” Martinez said in his own introductory press conference in early November.

“This game is still played on the diamond, on dirt, on grass, with the bat, with the baseball, with the glove. We’ve done it. These guys have done it since they were little. I do believe in that, but it helps me make decisions like before the game or with lineups, and with other things, how we’re going to do things. Like I said, it’s a big part of the game, why not use it? The information is there, we should all use it.”

“I love information,” Martinez said in a recent MLB Network Radio interview, when he was asked about actually applying the data that’s available.

“Information for me is great, but you still have to play the game on the field and know your players. Know which players could engage in all the information and which players it might hurt by getting so much information and use it wisely. But having information, like I said, we talk about getting an edge, and the more information that we can get, myself, coaches, and present it to the players in the right format, the better we’re going to be, the more prepared we’re going to be.”