Washington Nationals: 5 predictions on Dave Martinez’s style
By Ron Juckett
GET TOSSED, WHY DON’T YOU?
Sometimes a manager must light a fire under his team.
This does not mean tossing chairs in the office or throwing clubhouse post-game meals everywhere. With cameras and microphones everywhere, tantrums turn into viral videos on SportsCenter for weeks on end.
Yet, sometimes teams play too casual. Last year, Washington had stretches where their focus was a million miles away from the ballpark. Injuries, fatigue and a division settled in May were factors but, especially in September, urgency was missing.
Outside of hiring Hunter Strickland to throw batting practice, the best way to excite a team is having a manager get ejected. Sometimes, it is important to wake both players and fans. Baker, for all his laid-back demeanor, hardly ever excited his troops.
No, turning into the ghost of Earl Weaver will not work. But, Bobby Cox found the clubhouse his fair share in Atlanta and mentor Maddon at Wrigley is not a shrinking violet. Although old-fashioned chest bumping is not worth a suspension, kicking the dirt or hiding home plate to defend a player is a good thing.
Players need to know a manager has their back. Over the course of 162 games, a good manager understands dead spots and bored guys must stay at a minimum. Joe West understands.