Ali Modami, a batting practice pitcher for the Washington Nationals who opted out of this season a few weeks back, occasionally took now-former Nats’ infielder Brian Dozier for a piggyback ride after home runs last season as part of the dugout celebrations the club became famous for on the way to the World Series championship.
Without Modami around, Trea Turner called on Kevin Long to give him a ride on Monday night, after homering in the series opener with the New York Mets in Citi Field.
Once Long took part in the HR celebrations, Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez was put on the spot and asked if he’d provide a ride the next time someone hit one out.
“K-Long gave one before me and they asked me to do one,” Martinez explained after what ended up a 16-4 win on Monday. “So I said, well, next guy that hits a home run, I’ll do it.”
Juan Soto homered later in the third inning, but danced to celebrate his blast, so it took a few innings before Martinez got in on the celebrations.
Asdrúbal Cabrera hit his second home run of the night four innings later, and the manager made good on his word.
Davey Martinez doing his best Ali Modami impression after Asdrúbal Cabrera's second home run of the game. pic.twitter.com/xKUgfOmWUS— Blake Finney (@FinneyBlake) August 11, 2020
“It happened to be Cabby, and that was his second one. It ain’t easy, especially with that mask on. I’ll tell you.”
“When I get to the dugout they told me, hey, jump to Davey, so it was fun,” Cabrera joked after a 4 for 4 game in which he hit two doubles and two home runs, scoring three, while driving in five, so he probably deserved the ride.
The 34-year-old veteran infielder was impressed with his skipper’s strength.
"Davey is strong because I weigh 230. So I don't know if he's going to be fine tomorrow, but he's fine tonight." - Asdrúbal Cabrera on his dugout piggyback ride (with a Zoom appearance from @MarkZuckerman) pic.twitter.com/Riw8QvKCt9— Jessica Camerato (@JessicaCamerato) August 11, 2020
“He is strong, because I weigh 230, so I don’t know if he’s going to be fine tomorrow, but he’s fine tonight,” Cabrera said with a laugh.
So did Martinez make it through his first dugout piggyback ride without any issues?
“I had to go and do a workout today,” the manager said before the second game of four in New York on Tuesday.
“I’m not going to lie to you, my back was a little sore,” Martinez said. “I don’t want to say anything, but Cabby is a pretty thick guy, you know.”
Is that it for his piggybacking players days?
“We’ll see. We’ll see,” he said. “Some guys came up to me already, Juan said, ‘Are you going to put me on your back?’ I said, ‘No,’ I said, ‘I want to ride on your back. How’s that?’”