SNIDER: Nats need a manager change – now

Rick Snider
May 09, 2019 - 1:30 pm
Time for the Washington Nationals to fire manager Dave Martinez.

Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports


Davey Martinez is not the root cause of the Washington Nationals’ woes. But, neither is he the solution.

And no matter when the injury-plagued Nats rebound, Martinez is not the one to lead them to the playoffs.

Change managers now while the season and future can be saved. Otherwise, it’s just wasting time before firing him in October.

The Nats are 14-22 and fading fast. They’ve lost five starters to injuries, making the lineup look like a split-squad game. Still, Martinez provided no answers to the 5-14 recent slide, which includes a sweep in Milwaukee.

General manager Mike Rizzo said he’s never seen the Nationals play worse defense. That’s on Martinez. The baserunning is abysmal. That’s on Martinez. The bullpen management stinks. That’s on Martinez.

Opposing managers have been regularly outsmarting Martinez since his 2018 arrival. Maybe the Nats are destined to be a .500 team this season, but any hopes of improving with a healthy lineup one day are a long shot.

The season is nearly one-fourth gone and there’s no need to wait until Memorial Day to decide what type of team this is – lackluster.

Now Martinez doesn’t bat, throw pitches or even field, but he’s in charge of it all and the Nationals are underperforming. That always goes to management.

Who could Washington get in midseason that would be better than Martinez? That’s not the question. Replacing a poor performer is simply about that, not whether the next person is better. The Nats will hire an interim manager that likely won’t get more than a temporary improvement before the team returns to its proper level.

Dusty Baker? Please, there’s not enough begging to get the former manager to return if Baker has any pride. The Nationals blew it letting him go for a bench coach with no track record. Hiring Martinez has failed just like many of his predecessors.

Why can’t the Nats find a good manager? That’s on management being cheap.

Managers are not a dime a dozen as the Lerner family seems to believe. They need to spend big to get one of the top ones and it will be money well spent.

But Martinez? A 96-102 mark proves he’s just a mediocre coach even with a talented team.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks.