This morning I was able to watch an interview with Dave Martinez the new Manager for the Washington Nationals on the MLB channel. They caught Dave down in Orlando at the Winter Meetings. He just signed a 3 year deal with the Nationals to replace Dusty Baker. I’m not certain if many baseball fans know who Dave is so I thought I’d give you a little background on him along with some of his credentials.
I have known of Dave Martinez for about 30 years now. I was fortunate enough to meet him when he was playing for the Montreal Expos. I was in high school and a very cool 16 years old. Dave did a quick interview with us for our high school television show the Bulldog Report. He was very gracious and kind to appease the 2 very nervous and giddy girls that day at Dodgertown with an interview.
I was always a fan and followed Dave’s 16 year career which took him to nine different Major League teams. He played for the Chicago Cubs, Montreal Expos, Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants, Chicago White Sox, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, and Atlanta Braves. He played in both leagues American (6 years) and National (11 years). Dave was an outfielder who threw left and batted left and retired with a lifetime batting average of .276 in 5795 at bats in 1918 games played. 2001 was the last season he played at the age of 36 and it was the only season he made a playoff appearance in the National League Division Series.
To me Dave was a guy that bounced around but always found a home because he was healthy, solid, proven and had the experience to play everyday or be a great asset to your bench. He worked at it day in and day out and stuck with the sport. Sixteen years is a long career in Major League baseball. It’s a commitment to a season that is brutal with it’s 162 game schedule. Different teams, different cities, different clubhouses and different managers all with different personalities.
In 2007 he was hired as the bench coach for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays working with Joe Maddon. Dave went with Joe when he went to the Chicago Cubs in 2014. For Dave it was a full circle homecoming as the Cubs were the team to draft Dave Martinez in 1983. He served as Joe Maddon’s bench coach for 10 years. He had been interviewed for many managerial jobs before but this time around it happened and he was hired to manage the Washington Nationals for the 2018 season.
For Dave Martinez it is really his first time in the spotlight. It is his time to shine. This is the first time he’s being noticed as “the guy.” He is the lead guy in this new chapter and not the best friend or the quirky co-worker. All his years of preparing for this job will serve him well and help him to be a successful manager. Best of Luck Dave!