I’m not saying I didn’t believe Wade Boggs when he congratulated his former teammate (and current Cubs bench coach) Dave Martinez on getting the Nationals manager job. I just needed a little more than a Hall of Famer’s word for it to be sure.
And Jon Heyman offers up that “little more,” after multiple reports had Martinez the favorite for the job, Heyman reports that it’s going to happen. Presumably, it will not be made official until tomorrow’s off-day of the World Series, or after the series concludes.
For Martinez, it’s a long-deserved and long awaited opportunity to run his own team after serving under Joe Maddon for the last 10 years. I hope he succeeds with the Nationals, steering them again and again to the playoffs, and losing only when they face the Cubs.
About that: because the Nationals seemed pretty committed to Dusty Baker as manager until he lost to the Cubs in the NLDS and was subsequently let go, it’s conceivable that the Cubs themselves are the reason Martinez got this shot. Here’s hoping he remembers that when talking to Bryce Harper about how wonderful his time was in Chicago.
Best of luck to Martinez, and now the Cubs will turn to the business of replacing a position Joe Maddon hasn’t had to replace since he first made Martinez his bench coach in 2008. Under Maddon, as I understand it, the bench coach has been something of a right-hand man, helping steer Maddon through the decision-making process on a day-to-day basis, and also managing clubhouse relationships. And, of course, on the rare occasion Maddon has been booted, Martinez takes over as manager.
I wouldn’t mind seeing the Cubs move someone already in-house up into the bench coach role (Brandon Hyde?) for the continuity and institutional memory aspect. The few remaining holdover coaches have worked with Maddon AND these players for a little while now, and keeping that together in a prominent coaching role could be a good thing.
UPDATE: It’s happening:
BREAKING: Nationals have finalized deal with Davey Martinez. Three years and an option, according to a person familiar with the situation.
— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) October 29, 2017
That’s a really long contract in the Nationals’ world, so they must have wanted Martinez a great deal. Good for him.