Chicago Cubs: Dave Martinez shines as Nationals manager
Dave Martinez has done a great job as Nationals manager this year, taking a team that got off to a 19-31 start and turning them around to capture the franchise’s first-ever National League pennant. He also comes with some Chicago Cubs connections.
Many forget that the Cubs are Martinez’s original MLB team as a player. He was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the third round of the 1983 draft, and he made his big league debut in 1986. He struggled in his first year with the club, but in 1987 he batted .292 with eight home runs and 36 RBIs. In 1988, the Cubs traded Martinez to the Montreal Expos for Mitch Webster. Martinez appeared briefly for the Cubs again in 2000, towards the end of his career.
After his playing career, Martinez became a coach and was a trusted bench coach for manager Joe Maddon with the Tampa Bay Rays. When Maddon came to the Cubs in 2015, Martinez came with him, and Martinez was the bench coach when the Cubs won the World Series in 2016. Martinez was a candidate for several managerial positions for several years before finally getting his chance with the Nationals in 2018.
Given that the Nationals had a disappointing 2018, along with the fact that the team got off to such a rough start this year, there was talk that Martinez’s job was in jeopardy. Now, with this remarkable turnaround, he’s getting the credit that he deserves. Cubs fans should be glad to see him succeed.