The Washington Nationals need a manager to take them past the first round. Joe Girardi’s looking for a job. Get together already, you two.
Baseball doesn’t require you to have a great manager to be a great team. Great example — the Chicago Cubs. Joe Maddon is lauded as a wonderful manager, but he darn near cost them the World Series. However, the Washington Nationals are a special case. They need a manager who can help them advance past the first round and deal with a ton of pressure.
After parting ways with Dusty Baker, it appeared the Nationals made a mistake with the manager candidate pool looking relatively weak. However, they’ve been aggressive in trying to find a new one. Currently, the Nationals appear to be targeting Dave Martinez, the bench coach of the Cubs.
Martinez has been long overdue for a chance to be a manager. He’s spent the last few seasons as Maddon’s understudy. Martinez is a well-deserving option if that’s the direction the Nationals want to go in.
However, is he the best one? Nope. Not with Girardi on the market. The biggest reason why the Nationals should be all over the former Yankees manager is his experience. No team will be under more pressure to win in 2018 than the Nats. Superstar Bryce Harper is going to hit free agency unless the Nationals make him the richest player in history.
Failure is not an option. Those sure are some lofty expectations for a rookie manager, even one like Martinez. But Girardi is used to those expectations. He managed in New York from 2008 to 2017. Girardi lasted a whole dang decade in The Big Apple despite being an at times undeserving target of criticism. The Yankees never had a losing season under Girardi. He took them to the ALCS, nearly beating the Houston Astros.
Girardi is used to managing a team of superstars, which is what the Nationals are. But let’s be honest, he’s flawed. Girardi has been criticized for his bullpen management. Then again, keep in mind that was Dusty Baker’s biggest issue going into his tenure, and he did a pretty respectable job in that regard.
The Nationals have the rotation necessary to make up for Girardi’s greatest flaw. So why haven’t the two parties done the inevitable and formed an evil alliance to take over baseball?