Davey Martinez wakes up every morning on his 350 acres of land in Tennessee, takes a 40-minute Peloton bike ride, and spends his day doing farm work, which he guesses burns up 2,000 calories a day.
While he’s waiting for Major League Baseball to return from the shutdown it’s in as the world waits for the coronavirus pandemic to subside, there’s plenty of work to do at his home.
“Repairing fences, a whole lot of tree cutting, I got about 110 acres of grass I’ve got to mow,” Martinez told reporters in a Zoom conference call this afternoon.
“You name it. Gate repairs. And I also got two new additions to my family. I got two little puppies now, so running around chasing those guys around. Actually, they keep me busy.”
The situation, of course, is not ideal, but Martine and his family are doing what they can to stay busy (and healthy) until there is definitive word on when/if the 2020 MLB campaign will start.
“For me it’s kind of a good way to isolate myself,” he said of his time in Tennessee, “because I’m not stuck in a condo or an apartment like I would be in [Washington], D.C., but yet, with that being said, I love my backyard to be [Nationals Park]. I enjoy it, I miss it a lot, and I can’t wait to get back. I’ve had this farm, but I never thought I’d spend this much time out here.
“It was only supposed to be a winter thing,” he said. “I can’t wait to get back to my personal backyard.”
As for the rumored proposals for how MLB might handle a season, whether it’s in one city or each teams’ home cities, with (likely) no fans in the stands at least at the start, Martinez said he’s not spending too much time on hypotheticals, but instead waiting to see an actual plan before he starts thinking about how the club will handle things.
“When we start thinking about scenarios,” he explained, “I don’t want to speculate on what is going to transpire. What I do try to do every day is tell myself that we will have baseball.
“Baseball is going to come back. Any specific date, we don’t know that, it’s uncertain, but I’m trying to put together what I think Spring Training would look like right now.
“I’m just trying to get to Spring Training. There’s been some talk, not a whole lot, about how much time we’re going to have, so for me there’s been scenarios where I say, ‘If they give us two weeks, this is what we’ve got to do. If they give us three weeks, this is what we’ve got to do. If they give us four weeks, then this is what we can do.’
“Other than that I haven’t really thought about where Spring Training would be ... because as of right now everything is speculation and I don’t want to just wrap my day around just speculation.
“I’m very optimistic that we will have baseball, so every day I wake up, I try to focus on where the guys are at right now, what we need to do to prepare for our season.”
The concern for the manager of the defending World Series champs and all the players he talks to regularly, Martinez said, is getting back to playing baseball, when it’s safe.
“I miss the game, and whatever it’s going to take to come back and play, I’m all for it. But with that being said, I think the main concern and still a big concern is the safety and health of everybody. All participants. Players, coaches, staff, training staff, fans, everybody, you guys, writers, umpires, you name it, so there’s a lot of different things going on, a lot of different governments opening up at different times, so we’ll have to see, but like I said, all I can do is wake up every day and hope that I get some news that we’re going to start up soon and we’ll go from there.”
Martinez, like GM Mike Rizzo before him, said as far as the final celebrations of their World Series championship, the banner-raising, ring ceremonies, etc., he’s with those who have said they should wait until fans are able to participate.
“I’m sure that I speak for everyone in our organization: We’re going to celebrate, somehow, some way,” Martinez said.
“A lot of players have spoken out, I know [Rizzo] spoke out, myself included, we want to hang the banner with fans, we want to get our rings with fans.
“When? We don’t know. How? We don’t know. But we want them to be involved.
“For me, this is a big deal, a big deal for everybody, so we want to include everybody, and I know the Lerners are going to do whatever they can to do that. I know myself, [Rizzo], the whole organization. We’re going to do our best to include everybody.”
As far as a message for Nationals fans who are patiently waiting for it to be safe for baseball to return?
“First and foremost,” Martinez said. “I think the Nationals have done a really good job, public relations people — everybody has done a really good job of staying in contact with the fans, letting them know that we care.
“The biggest thing for me is to be safe, be healthy, and stay strong. We’re all going through some changes, but the main concern is everybody’s health.
“We’re going to come back and play. I don’t know when that’s going to be, but when we do, I can’t wait to see all the fans back in the stands and everything come back to normal, but stay strong.”