Sunday, 29 October:
Cub coach and Joe Maddon assistant Dave Martinez will be announced as the new manager of the Washington Nationals as soon as the World Series is over.
It will be a three year deal with an option, as according to multiple sources including the Washington Post and John Heyman of Fan Rag. Martinez, 53, played from 1986 to 2001, a slick fielding outfielder with a .276 lifetime average.
His association with Joe Maddon started in 2008, and he followed him here in 2014, in what was a return to his roots. The New York native came up as a Cub prospect in 1986, and became a bit more ‘infamous’ for being involved, along with pitcher Bob Scanlan, in a scandal involving then Ryne Sandburg’s wife Cindy.
Martinez, who was reportedly almost hired by Washington before Dusty Baker was, has been long rumored as a managerial candidate for several other teams. Now he gets his chance.
He is a solid baseball guy, and the Nationals know the Cubs will stand between them and the NLCS for some time to come. They hope his knowledge of the team gives them an edge.
He will enter a Nationals organization which is in turmoil, they have had great regular seasons and awful playoffs. Baker, who may or may not be as popular as the media is making out did have his supporters on the team who were not happy with his dismissal.
Nats GM Mike Rizzo is claiming he ‘wanted to renew’ Baker’s contract, but that is a doubtful claim. Baker has shown his management style, firmly rooted in the old school approach, has come and gone.
The best analogy one could give is he is a crop duster pilot given a squadron of F-22 Raptors to command. Knowing how to fly is one thing.
Knowing the intricacies of the modern game is yet another, and the game moved on while he didn’t.
Martinez, an able assistant to Maddon, will be missed. But this completes the turnover of the entire Cub coaching staff save for longtime bullpen coach Lester Strode.
The rest of the changes to the Cub team coming should be equally as dramatic as the team re-invents itself…