Since arriving from Montreal in 2005 the Nationals have had seven different managers (eight if you count the three game John McLaren led the team into battle as the interim manager in 2011). Seventeen seasons and seven managers. On average, two and a half years a stint. Yikes.
The list includes a few “whose who in baseball managers” and a few the team wishes they wouldn’t have given the opportunity to. Frank Robinson was a Hall of Famer as a player and the first African American manager in Major League history. Davey Johnson won over 1300 games and a World Series as manager of the New York Mets. Dusty Baker has won over 1900 games and lost a World Series as manager of the San Francisco Giants.
Robinson was gone after two years, he was just a holdover from his time with the Expos. Johnson lasted two years then bounced. Baker won the division twice in two years. He didn’t get a third opportunity to make it past the first round of the playoffs.
Davey Martinez has managed more games than any manager in Washington Nationals history.
Manny Acta was given the keys to the car after Robinson was relieved of duties, his first big league manager job of his career. The franchise was in disarray and no tenured manager was going to take the reins of a team a long way from building a winner. Acta was a nightmare though. His .385 winning percentage was pitiful (yes, his rosters were filled with no names), and he is best remembered for arguing with Elijah Dukes in the dugout during a game.
Then there was the Matt Williams debacle. He didn’t verbally attack any players ala Acta, but he sent the DC Strangler back to the mound after chocking Bryce Harper. Williams was not a good fit and hasn’t managed in the league since his two year stint with Washington.
Here we are. Martinez has managed 412 games wearing a Nationals uniform. He’s won a World Series. He’s won more games than he has lost. He’ll be in the dugout for the foreseeable future. Congrats to the skipper. Though this record is more about the lack of longevity before him as opposed to his brilliance during his days in the dugout.