Former Cubs bench coach and current Nationals manager Dave Martinez can now say he's been part of two historic championship teams.
Martinez and the Nationals took down the Astros in Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday, securing the franchise's first ever World Series title. It's the first time a baseball franchise in Washington D.C. has won the World Series since the Washington Senators did so in 1924.
Prior to 2019, the Nationals were infamous for their postseason struggles, with zero series wins in five trips. But as historic as Wednesday was, it may come second to Martinez's first title, when he helped the Cubs snap their World Series curse in 2016. Martinez was Joe Maddon's bench coach from 2015-17 while also playing for the team in 1986-88 and 2000.
Thursday, Cubs president Theo Epstein expressed happiness for Martinez, speaking highly of the latter's impact as Cubs bench coach on ESPN 1000's Kap & Company.
"Congratulations to the Nationals, unbelievable job. Davey Martinez, so happy for him," Epstein said to David Kaplan and Pat Boyle. "Davey's strength is connecting with the players in a very visceral way to get them to believe and buy in and leave it all out on the field and sort of bond brother-to-brother. It was cool watching that from afar and recognizing that he had played a role in creating that here."
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Jeff Nelson, Tim Stebbins, and Tony Andracki fill in for host David Kaplan as they discuss how different this year's Cubs convention will be compared to previous years and how awkward it will be for Kris Bryant and other players who could be traded before the season. They also get into baseball's cheating issue, and Tony Andracki makes a huge announcement.
(1:08) - Different feel at Cubs Con
(3:10) - Cubs putting Kris Bryant in an awkward spot
(4:44) - Anthony Rizzo says he might not be a Cub long term
(6:33) - How will Cubs fans show displeasure at Cubs Con
(10:24) - What will it take for Sammy Sosa to be accepted by the Cubs
(13:54) - Baseball's cheating scandal is spreading
(20:07) - Tony Andracki's BIG announcement
Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:
In the wake of their infamous sign-stealing scandal, the Astros could look to the North Side to fill their suddenly vacant managerial seat.
According to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Cubs have granted the Astros permission to interview Will Venable for manager.
MLB conducted a thorough investigation into a report from The Athletic stating the Astros electronically stole signs during their 2017 championship season. The findings resulted in general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch receiving year-long suspensions Monday before the Astros subsequently fired both from their respective posts.
RELATED: David Ross and Anthony Rizzo react to Astros cheating scandal, subsequent fallout
Venable joined the Cubs in September 2017 as a special assistant in the front office. He joined the on-field staff as first base coach in 2018, a position he held through last season. The 37-year-old also spent time as third base coach when Brian Butterfield dealt with health issues in 2019.
The Cubs named Venable third base coach this offseason following Butterfield’s departure to Joe Maddon’s Angels. Prior to that, Venable interviewed for the Cubs’ managerial opening — which went to David Ross — as well as the Giants’ opening, which went to former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler.
The Astros have already reportedly interviewed Buck Showalter for manager and are set to meet with John Gibbons, too.
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