Davey Martinez’s first season in D.C. has been a major disappointment. Now, the Washington Nationals should weigh the pros and cons of firing the manager.
When Davey Martinez took over as manager of the Washington Nationals after the firing of Dusty Baker, he inherited one of baseball’s most talented, experienced rosters.
More than 110 games into the rookie skipper’s first season, the Nats are inexplicably in third place. Perhaps even more troubling is the absence of sound fundamentals and consistent hustle that have so far served as the Martinez era’s trademarks.
Baker’s dismissal after 192 regular season wins and back-to-back NL East titles was clearly a mistake. Now, the biggest question is how the Washington Nationals attempt to recover from the organization’s self-inflicted wound.
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Most baseball owners and general managers don’t like admitting that they were wrong, especially in public. Yet if the team and clubhouse continue their descent to mediocrity, the Lerner family and Nats GM Mike Rizzo would be remiss to not give serious consideration to the merits of changing managers.
When it comes to a big decision like this, nothing can be done in the heat of the moment. But it’s hard to deny that the team looks drastically different under Martinez this season. So we need to look at both sides of the argument for this decision.
Pros of firing Davey Martinez
- It will give the Nats a chance to add a presumably more seasoned leader who has successfully addressed issues like clubhouse discord and lack of hustle in the past.
- The current availability of more experienced on-field managers like Joe Girardi and Mike Matheny, not to mention Baker to manage a win-now team.
- It would send a clear message to Nationals players that anything less than 100% effort will not be tolerated.
Cons of getting rid of Davey Martinez
- The Nationals would be firing a fifth manager in seven seasons despite four division titles, which is not a good look.
- They would need to absorb the financial side of Martinez’s contract, with over two years remaining on the deal he penned in the off-season.
- It may well negatively affect Bryce Harper‘s decision to re-sign with the Nationals, as he has praised his current manager on numerous occasions.
The Washington Nationals have been the biggest disappointment in baseball in 2018. Davey Martinez deserves plenty of blame and is certainly on the hot seat as the rest of the season plays out.