Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez hasn’t heard anything directly from the Colorado Rockies – and didn’t know about his name being linked to their manager’s job until a reporter mentioned it to him before Sunday night’s World Series Game 5 at Wrigley Field.
“The only thing I’m concerned about is today,” Martinez said. “I haven’t heard a word.”
That could be Colorado – as a professional courtesy – waiting to see what happens between the Cubs and Cleveland Indians. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports and MLB Network identified Martinez and Cleveland coaches Brad Mills and Sandy Alomar Jr. as among those expected to be on the Rockies’ radar after they forced out Walt Weiss (283-365 record in four seasons).
Martinez has been Joe Maddon’s bench coach for nine years, beginning with the Tampa Bay Rays shocking the baseball world and reaching the 2008 World Series. Martinez understands how to develop young talent and apply statistical analysis and possesses the instant credibility that comes from playing 16 seasons in the big leagues.
Martinez does the bad-cop routine so Maddon doesn’t have to – and still helps spread the manager’s good-vibes, be-yourself message through dress-up trips and Party Room celebrations. Over the years, he has already interviewed for managerial jobs with the Cubs, Indians, Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Washington Nationals and Toronto Blue Jays.
“Davey’s not afraid to have the tough conversation,” Maddon said. “His job is to be the conduit, the liaison, whatever, between this office and the rest of the clubhouse and to really put out the fires before they ever get here.
“So when a guy does the bench-coaching thing properly, I absolutely believe that it helps set him up to become a manager.”
After winning 103 games and the franchise’s first National League pennant in 71 years, Maddon expects the entire coaching staff to be invited back for next season, though the manager hasn’t specifically discussed that topic in depth with team president Theo Epstein yet.
Martinez never played in a postseason game with the franchise that originally drafted him in 1983 – and now seems positioned to become an October fixture for years to come.
“It’s a surreal feeling,” Martinez said. “To see this organization come from (where it was) when I was here in the 80s to what it is now – it’s unbelievable. I have nothing but admiration for this group of guys, the way they go out and play every day. They never quit. They’re relentless. They come out and they play hard every single day. That’s all you can ask.”