The Washington Nationals have reportedly hired Davey Martinez, a man with no previous managerial experience, to replace Dusty Baker.
Martinez played 16 season as an outfielder in the majors, for the Cubs, Expos, Reds, Giants, White Sox, Rays, Blue Jays, and Braves. He worked for the Rays as an instructor for a couple years before coming on as the team’s bench coach after the 2007 season, working under Joe Maddon. In 2014 he followed Maddon to the Cubs, where he’s served again as bench coach. Along the way, Martinez interviewed for a few manager openings, including to replace Davey Johnson in Washington, a job that eventually went to the hilariously miscast Matt Williams. The impression Martinez made then—as someone less suited to the job than Matt friggin’ Williams—apparently stuck with Nationals GM Mike Rizzo, who circled back to hire a coach from the team that just bounced his squad from the NLDS.
An apprenticeship under Joe Maddon is a legitimate strength on a managerial resumé, and there’s no particular reason this won’t work. But for an organization with a well-earned reputation for cheaping out on managerial decisions, replacing one of the most experienced acting managers in baseball with a newbie for the second time in five years—and hiring a guy they passed on in order to make their worst hire in a decade—isn’t a real great look.