Washington Nationals: Dave Martinez’s attitude already paying dividends

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WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 12: Michael A. Taylor
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 12: Michael A. Taylor /
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New Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez has hardly wet his feet, but his attitude is already making an impact. Here’s how.

Dave Martinez has yet to manage a meaningful game for the Washington Nationals. He has managed some exhibition games, but even those are scarce. He is still getting his feet wet in his first managerial job, but he has already begun to make an impact.

Dusty Baker, Martinez’s predecessor, is known as a fairly laid-back manager. He was a player himself, and specialized in managing a clubhouse. Martinez has barely begun, but has already earned the reputation of being a laid-back leader.

Like Baker, Martinez is a former player. Perhaps this is why he is so laid-back. Regardless of the reason for his attitude, it is working.

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Throughout the first two weeks of spring training, there has been a noticeable difference in the Nats’ workouts. There has been music playing, which is something the Nats have never done. As a matter of fact, no team has ever done this.

Each day, a different player is given free rein on the playlist. Bryce Harper‘s playlist featured old-school hip hop, while Stephen Strasburg went a little more modern with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Unfortunately, roster hopeful Erick Fedde did not impress early this spring, at least in terms of his playlist.

Martinez’s decision to allow music during workouts is certainly unique, but it has the Nats as loose as ever.

Another unique aspect of the Nats’ camp is their “circle of trust”. What exactly happens in the circle of trust is not known, but it is typically led by Bob Henley and is a way to begin the day on a relaxed note.

Spring training is very monotonous, with players going through the same routine every day for a month and a half, but Martinez’s unorthodox leadership methods have made it much more enjoyable for the Nats.

The Nats have had nothing but praise for Martinez thus far, and everyone seems to be having a great time.

From Tanner Roark and Henley reenacting a scene from Remember the Titans, to Shawn Kelley and Brandon Kintzler‘s dugout antics, to pitchers practicing in bucket hats, the Nats seem to be having a great time. Shortly after reporting to camp, Kintzler even did an interview at his locker while equipped with a batting helmet and bat.

Although the Nats are having a good time, they are also being productive. Martinez has made it clear that anything less than a World Series championship will be considered a disappointment, and the Nats are working hard towards their lofty goal.

Despite the fact that Martinez has never managed before, he has gotten off to an excellent start. If spring training is any indication of what is to come, 2018 will be a fun year for the Nats.

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