Washington’s Nationals announced on Monday that manager Davey Martinez was selected to be on the 2022 NL All-Star staff by Atlanta Braves’ skipper Brian Snitker, whose club won the World Series last season. Martinez, of course, didn’t get to manage an All-Star Game in 2020, after the win in the Fall Classic in 2019, with the Midsummer Classic canceled by the delayed start to the season caused by the COVID pandemic.
Talking about getting named to the staff for this year’s All-Star Game, Martinez said he was not so much disappointed for himself back in 2020, more than anything he said he was disappointed for the fans in the nation’s capital, and for his coaches, who did not get to experience all the celebrations which would normally follow the season after a World Series title, especially the first by a club from D.C. since all the way back in 1924.
“To me, it would have been really nice to manage an All-Star Game,” the 57-year-old, fifth-year manager said, “... but I think it was more, as you said, for the fans, and more so for my coaching staff, I think they’re the ones that — like I always — when we didn’t get a chance to do it, I was more upset about my coaching staff. We put a lot of work in, as you know, even today these guys put tons of work in, they’re here at 11-12:00 and spend hours working with players, that they didn’t get the opportunity to go and do what they obviously deserved. It was a big year for us, and you win in ‘19 and you expect all these different things in ‘20. We didn’t get that, but I told them, as I always tell them, ‘One year it will be our turn together, we’ll get back there, and we’ll get to enjoy it one day.”
Martinez will get to enjoy participating in the All-Star Game where his 2019 Nationals won the NLDS, Los Angeles, California’s Dodger Stadium, thanks to the nice gesture by Snitker.
“I talked to Brian [Snitker],” Martinez explained. “We go way back. He’s a good man. I’m honored to be a part of his staff. It seems like I’ve known a lot of those guys for many, many years, played with some of them. I’ve played with [Eric Young], Jr.’s dad, in Chicago, so I’m excited about it, it will be a lot of fun, get to see some familiar faces and hang out with some coaches that I know.”
Asked if he thought the Braves’ manager offered this as a way to acknowledge Martinez and the Nationals’ situation in 2019-20, the Nats’ skipper said, “I would imagine so.”
“We didn’t really get into the whole details, but he had asked me and I told him, ‘Absolutely. I’d be honored,’ to be part of his staff.”
Martinez, a veteran of 16 seasons in the majors as a player, never made an All-Star team in his playing days, but he seemed genuinely excited about this opportunity to participate in the festivities.
“It’s a lot of fun. Like I said, you’re amongst the best of the best of the game, and like I said, it’s definitely an honor to be there and see all these unbelievable players and get to mingle and pick people’s brains, so for me it’s a great experience.”
He and his family do have to change their plans for the All-Star Break though.
“Yeah, a little bit. I was either going to head to Florida, or head to see my farm, so our plans changed,” Martinez said.
“I’m going to have fun. There’s no doubt about it. It’s all about — like I said, you’re going with guys that you’ve known around the league This is a time where you get spend time with — instead of somebody in a different uniform, you get to spend time with a bunch of different guys. Guys that I’ve had here, guys that I’ve coached, coaches that I’ve known for many, many years, and we get to get together for a few days and just kind of have fun with the game, watch some of these superstars do their thing. I love the HR Derby, and for me to go there, sit, and be a fan, and just watch these guys just hit the ball as far as they can, it’s pretty exciting. So I’m going to do it with a big smile on my face, and watch, and ooh and ahh like the fans do.”