After all the “What did you learn about managing from Joe Maddon?” questions, the one question new Washington Nationals’ manager Dave Martinez has been asked most often since landing his first managerial gig, is, “How will you get the Nationals over the hump?”
Four NLDS appearances in the last six seasons and four losses in each trip they’ve made to the postseason over that stretch, will lead to people asking those questions.
Just last week, a reporter wondered if there was anything missing from the previous Nats teams that Martinez saw from the other side of the field?
What will it take to get the Nationals over the hump, into the NLCS and then hopefully the World Series in 2018?
GET YOUR NATIONALS HUMP SEASON T-SHIRT FROM BREAKING T
“We talk about this ‘hump,’” Martinez said, “and for me, they’ve accomplished the hump.
“And my message to them is, ‘Hey, when we get there it’s just playing one more game.
“It will game 163, 164, 165. We’re good enough to finish this out, and they know that, and we’ve just got to concentrate on the here and now.”
In order to help prepare the Nationals to get over the hump next October, Martinez made the decision to bring the hump to the Nationals first.
It’s easy to think this might be a publicity stunt, but once you look at the scouting report you can start to see how these guys are going to improve our club. pic.twitter.com/HkIFYsFO0Y— Obi-Sean Kenobi (@whatwouldDOOdo) February 28, 2018
Even #SpringTraining can't escape hump day. pic.twitter.com/tYBTT3fsBz— Cut4 (@Cut4) February 28, 2018
So, yes, he actually brought camels (and their humps) to the Nationals’ Spring Training facilities this morning, and coaches Bob Henley and Tim Bogar rode them into the Nats’ Circle of Trust. No seriously, watch that video above.
“All winter long I heard about the proverbial ‘hump,’” Martinez explained. “So, it came to me a while ago. I didn’t know if we could pull it off because I didn’t know if we could get the camels.”
“My intentions were to bring the hump to us,” Martinez added, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.
“The proverbial hump question that we all try to answer. I want these guys out there. I want it out there. For me, as I thought about it, the hump is every day. And I want them to embrace it, not fear it. And have fun with it.”
You have to give it to him. Martinez pulled this one off. So was this something he learned from Joe Maddon?