Chicago Cubs welcome back Dave Martinez in weekend showdown

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The past several years have been nice to the Chicago Cubs and Washington’s new manager. Now familiar faces will clash with a man who helped this club make history in 2016.

Reunited and it feels so good. Only, Dave Martinez will be sitting opposite the Chicago Cubs for the first time since leaving the organization last winter. No surprise, considering Martinez has been big league manager material for a while now.

It was only a matter of time until he found himself in a higher position. Last year, the Washington Nationals canned former Cubs skipper, Dusty Baker. Thus opening the door for Martinez to take over.

No hard feelings, whatsoever. Martinez was under Joe Maddon‘s wing for quite some time and hasn’t done all that bad in his first year as a big league skipper.

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So, mentor versus student will definitely set the tone this weekend as the Cubs find themselves two games ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers. First place is nice at this point of the season as the finish line draws closer.

Headlines won’t only focus on Martinez returning to the North Side of Chicago but some eyes could be focused on Bryce Harper. Harper is a childhood friend of 2016 National League MVP, Kris Bryant.

Vegas ties

Bryant is currently on the disabled list, trying to make his way back into Maddon’s lineup. As for Harper, he was scratched the other night after being hit by a pitch. He’s expected to take the field in Martinez’s North Side homecoming.

These two men and their wives remain close, feeding rumors regarding a possible scenario where Bryce Harper signs with the Chicago Cubs in 2019. How crazy would that be? Harper named his dog Wrigley and has teased fans with random Instagram posts hinting at teaming with Bryant.

Could Martinez play a factor in this decision if Bryce decides that Washington is no longer the desired location? Possibly. As mentioned earlier, and from what we all know, Dave Martinez spent many years learning under Joe Maddon.

He knows what Joe brings to the table having established a personal relationship with the veteran manager. With that said, we’ll have to wait and see what Bryce decides what is best for his future in professional baseball.

Leading the charge

In the opener, soft-tossing right-hander Kyle Hendricks takes the ball at Wrigley.

Despite an ERA of 3.76, Hendricks carries a 3-1 record with a 40/5 K/BB ratio in his last seven outings for the first place Cubs. They were hammered by the Kansas City Royals to end their brief road trip, finishing 6-4 in their last 10 games.

As for the Washington Nationals, they’re sitting at 7-3, having topped the surprise Atlanta Braves, 6-3. Just because Washington decided to sell and seemingly placed Harper on the trade block this season, doesn’t mean they’re giving up completely.

Next. Darvish, Bryant working on returns. dark

Do not take this weekend series lightly. Hat tip to Davey. Let’s provide an ovation he will never forget.