Nats manager will take COVID-19 vaccine but won’t require players


Nationals manager Davey Martinez will not require his players to take the coronavirus vaccine once it’s available, though the skipper plans to do so himself as soon as he’s able.

Speaking with reporters during a Zoom press conference Tuesday, Martinez cited his family’s experiences with the virus as motivation for him to take it as quickly as possible.

“All I can say about that is when it’s our turn to take the vaccine and they offer it to me, I’ll take it,” Martinez said. “I can’t speak for anybody else [but] I’ll tell you for me, I had some family members who had COVID. I wish they had the vaccine already for them but I will definitely be on that waiting list and welcome it.”

Martinez, 56, experienced chest pains in September 2019 and missed several games while in the hospital after undergoing a cardiac catheterization. He noted that he plans to wear a mask again next season but stopped short of saying he would be scared to be around players who aren’t vaccinated.

“In the course of a year you deal with 40, 50, 60 different personalities,” Martinez said. “Everybody thinks differently. It’s how they feel [whether] they want to take it. For me, when my turn comes around and they want to offer me the vaccine, I’m gonna take it.

“But that’s an individual preference and that’s the way I’m going to treat it with every player. It’s your choice and that’s the beautiful thing about this country is that we have to make those kinds of choices.”


The Nationals are operating under the assumption they will report to spring training on time by Feb. 17. Major League Baseball has yet to announce if there will be any changes to the 2021 season schedule.