dave martinez raysThe Cubs headed west to interview Rick Renteria yesterday, and soon they’ll entertain their next managerial candidate: Dave Martinez.

The former Cubs outfielder and current Rays bench coach has worked under Joe Maddon for the past six years, theoretically soaking in a bit of what makes Maddon so good. It is, of course, only theoretical, because we can’t know what is inside a man. But it’s a hell of a nice piece of the resume.

(To my mind, the history with the Chicago Cubs, however, is a relatively thin piece of the resume. Sure, it’s nice to have an attachment to the past, and there are some aspects of Chicago living/fandom that will remain relevant to him. But the idiosyncrasies – as Theo Epstein aptly put it – of the current Chicago Cubs climate bear little resemblance to those of the days gone by. We all know that fan attitudes and behaviors changed after 2003, but I’d argue they changed again after 2008, and again still in 2012. Vague hope became crystalized hope. That gave way to frustration, which simmered into venom. It’s an ugly time to be atop the Chicago Cubs ladder, and any manager coming in needs to know that, not what things were like in the days of the Lovable Losers.)

Setting that aside, Martinez – for what little we know – seems to be as reasonable of a candidate as any of the three who’ve interviewed before him (Manny Acta, A.J. Hinch, and Rick Renteria). He’s been a rumored managerial target in many a managerial search the past few years, and is expected to get a shot eventually.

An interview last year with FanGraphs is worth a read, and gives a little insight into what kind of manager Dave Martinez would be. There’s a lot to like in there (though I do hate that he didn’t immediately poop on sacrifice bunts), including this bit:

The same goes for taking an extra base. One of our mottos here is, “How many times can we be on third base with less than two out?” We want to get to third with less than two out. You have a better opportunity to score from third base.

We have guys that can hit the ball out of the ballpark, but we don’t sit around and wait for those guys. There are times where we have to, but we’re going to be more aggressive. Shelty [hitting coach Derek Shelton] works with these guys a lot, and we tend to want to put the ball in play and let things happen. Things happen when you put the ball into play.

Agreed, Mr. Martinez. Agreed.

For his part, Martinez is rather excited to get a managerial interview with the Cubs, he told the Tampa Bay Times.

“Every year that I have under my belt I’m a lot more confident and a lot more prepared for the challenges of being a manager,” Martinez told Marc Topkin. “I love the idea of being part of winning a championship in Chicago. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

I expect we’ll hear more about Martinez and the other candidates – including any yet unnamed ones – soon after he interviews. That interview is expected to come this week.


    Didn’t Tim Wallach get an interview the first time around when Sveum ended up getting the gig? Also somewhat surprised no one has mentioned Davey Lopes or Juan Samuel, who have the Latino and MLB managerial experience boxes checked. Finally, there are guys who can relate to young Latino players that do not have Latino names or heritage. I don’t see a lot of this type of candidate mentioned in the search.

    • Aisle 19

      The best prospect the Cubs have doesn’t speak spanish-Kris Bryant.
      You really make me laugh at your “nsight”.

      • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

        Don’t be so certain about that. Even if he is, 3 of your top 4, and quite a few more in your top 10 are Spanish speaking. Albert Almora can speak both English and Spanish fluently. That is why they bunked him with Jorge Soler in Arizona. I really hope you understand more than one prospect atleast one full season away from the majors is going to be under consideration when they pick a manager. At the same time, the kids coming up are going to be the ones they consider. Javier Baez and Arismendy Alcantara are both closer than Bryant. His point makes a lot more sense than yours.

        • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

          Before you go off the handle, I understand Javier Baez is from Florida. They want someone who can relate to these types of kids. Most of the top kids in our system are not of American heritage. There was word this was going to be considered in the search or the bench coaches would have experience with Latin players. That is what he was saying.

  • When the Music’s Over

    I’ve been a very frequent reader and sometimes frequent commenter on this website for a few years years now, and without having the ability to do any sort of real historical analysis, I’m going to guess this Cubs managerial search has generated enough comments to make it a top 10 topic*. For whatever reason, that strikes me as wild.

    *Not including minor league updates, which could be considered a topic, or topics that cover years at a time, such as the stadium renovation. This is a finite topic.

  • HVAC Bob

    Why isn’t Bob Brenly in the mix. I think he would
    be an outstanding manager for us. Can someone please
    ask Epstein & Hoyer why is isn’t being considered.

    • Chris S

      My thinking is Brenly wouldn’t be good with the young guys. When he managed the Diamondbacks, he had an old roster.

    • YourResidentJag

      Plus FOX could be grooming Brenly to take over for Tim McCarver…so why wouldn’t he want that gig?

  • BlameHendry

    It’s really sounding like Martinez is the guy the FO wants. He’s taken his lessons from Joe Maddon, he’s basically been a second manager on a team that is constantly turning bright prospects into young stars, he himself is young, he’s latino, and he really wants to move up to being a manager, AND he’s thrilled with the idea of managing the Cubs no less. I’m not going to get my hopes up because this FO has yet to reward me for putting my hope in them to make the right choice in a decision like this, but to me this guy looks like the best pick of the lot.

    • baldtaxguy

      What source is indicating that its “really sounding like Martinez is the guy the FO wants?”

  • Blublud

    If we can’t get Maddon, Girardi or Mike Maddux, I guess Dave Martinez, or Davey as I sure Ms. Sandberg called him, would be the best hire. Maybe we can hire Palmero as the hitting coach and Thunder Dan as a strenth and conditioning coach.

    • wvcubsfan

      “If we can’t get Maddon, Girardi or Mike Maddux”

      One of these things is not like the other, one of these things is not the same. Can you guess which one it is?

  • Farley Flash

    Let me just take a moment to vent on the past. It continues to drive me crazy that everything that has been described about the manager the Cubs we had and turned away. Ryne Sandberg was that guy, I repeat was that guy. He did everything asked of him and won not only the games but the respect of those that played under him. To my knowledge he is not fluent in Spanish but well versed in the game called baseball. I wonder what it would have been like to have a huge piece of the puzzle (Castro) under the instruction of one of the hardest working greats of the game. If he only had the opportunity to demonstrate the focus that is needed to be a middle infielder. Ok so I’m done Ryno is gone and we are considering a ballplayer that has Cubby ties to the past, oh yeah the new brass did not want that. Good luck to Sandberg and lets give Dave M. a chance.

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      They wanted a guy with big league experience last time. At least some time coaching or managing as a big-leaguer. For all his success, Sandberg didn’t have that. I don’t know how you can say he was THE guy. We don’t know, and we’ll never know. Could Sandberg have gotten through to Castro? Who knows? Trammel and Sveum were both shortstops. We know Sandberg can rally young players, but can he manage crusty veterans, too (he’ll have to). Can he build and manage a major league staff that is consistent and steady? We don’t know that either, but he’ll have to do that. Wish him well, but we just don’t know. He wasn’t even available this time around, so it’s just not worth lamenting.

  • mjhurdle

    ha, Lynn goes high and tight at Puig, next pitch Puig hits for an RBI single to get the Dodgers rally started.
    STL fans are really going to start hating Puig now :)

  • Fastball

    Hire Dave Martinez because he isn’t BALD.
    Hire Dave cuz he comes from Tampa. Lou came from Tampa too.
    Hire Dave cuz he has paid his dues and is a deciple of one of the best managers in the past 10 years if not longer.
    Hire Dave cuz he was smart enough to stay right their in school for 6 straight years.
    Hire Dave cuz he looks smarter than Sveum or Quade. Those guys just looked stupid in the dugout. Can’t be stupid and look stupid at the same time. Failure Everytime.
    Hire Dave cuz he breaks the Chicago Manager Barrier for Latin American Manager.
    Hire Dave cuz I said so.

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      Yes, SIR! 😉

    • DarthHater

      “Hire Dave cuz he breaks the Chicago Manager Barrier for Latin American Manager.”

      What about Ozzie?

    • Chef Brian

      What’s a “deciple”? A loud follower? A cross between a disciple and decibel? Anyways, yeah, I like Dave Martinez too.

      • MichiganGoat

        A VERY LOUD apprentice?

    • Canadian Cubs Fan

      “Hire Dave cuz he looks smarter than Sveum or Quade. Those guys just looked stupid in the dugout. Can’t be stupid and look stupid at the same time. Failure Everytime.”

      This made me laugh, and I thank you for that. I agree that Martinez is the best option available. I’m sure Hinch & Acta would be fine, but they just don’t feel as right.

      Who knows? I don’t think Mike Matheny had managed above little league when he got the job, and he’s done pretty well.

  • arta

    will he quit like Lou?

  • Blackhawks1963

    I’m fine with Martinez or Renteria. Both are heavily grounded in “new school” baseball, or
    In other words the gospel according to Theo, Billy Beane and all the other sabermagicians. Sandberg was never seriously considered two years ago because he is not a new school disciple. I’ll continue to place my faith in Theo, Hoyer and McLeod.

  • Steve

    Just finished watching “5 OUTS” on CLTV. Brought back a lot of memories. Saddest thing was that a Cubs team with Ramirez, Prior, Sosa, Wood, Zambrano, Patterson, Lofton, Clement, and Alou couldn’t return to the playoffs in 2004, 2005, or 2006.

  • August

    When they open a sanitarium in Chicago for downtrodden Cub fans, “Five Outs” will not be shown on movie night.

  • carklos

    what ever happened to all the PTBNL’s the cubs were owed?
    I count some six or seven not obtained. Are they just forgotten?
    What happened to Dalier Hinojosa?

    • ssckelley

      I think the Cubs opted for the cash on most of the PTBNL deals. The players the would have gotten in those deals would not have been worth much and the Cubs minor league rosters do not have much room for career minor league guys.

  • jeff1969

    I hope Theo & Jed hire Martinez. I thought he was the guy back when they hired Sveum. If Martinez is hired will they bring back any of the coaches or will it be a clear deck?

    • Ivy Eater

      They said that all the coaches were free to look for jobs elsewhere. There were reportedly some that were told they would be given high praise, but essentially it will be up to the new manager.

  • Assman22

    Don’t be surprised if McKay and Duncan are reunited…

    • hansman

      Does this mean Bosio is on his way out?

      I thought someone was reporting it as a FACT that he was re-signed…

      • ssckelley

        Whoever was saying that was wrong.

        • hansman

          I dunno, he was reporting it as a fact and he has a lot of facts…

          • ssckelley

            I am pretty sure Brett shot it down and I cannot remember where I read it.

            • hansman

              Ya, in fact he did. I’m just being factually snarky.

              • ssckelley

                damn, i took the hook, line, and sinker

            • YourResidentJag

              I posted a link which indicated that Patrick Mooney was inferring this on 670theScore.

    • kscubfan

      I hope you mean with the Cubs, cause that would be awesome.

    • YourResidentJag


  • cubzforlife

    Dont forget Piniella is Spanish speaking. Spanish was his first language. He and Sammy used to kick the bobo in Espanol.

  • josh ruiter

    If we can get Davy Martinez we should. Then, what if we brought in Jaime Moyer as Pitching coach. He is a guy who knew how to understand pitching and with less than stellar stuff was still logging 200+ effective innings a year into his mid 40’s. That is the kind of understanding and approach I would like to think our guys would grow from. Thoughts?

  • SenorGato

    BTW: Of course he’s excited. The Cubs job is a huge gig, or can be if the Cubs stop being so embarrassing.

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