In Defense of Dave Martinez | The Process Report

In Defense of Dave Martinez

Speculation and over-analysis are givens whenever a team seeks a new manager. The interview process is too secretive and methodical, leaving onlookers too uninformed and unsatisfied for any other result to occur. As such, expect whoever is named in connection to the Rays’ opening in the coming weeks to receive more scrutiny than necessary. In all likelihood, that exercise with the internal candidates will start ahead of time.

One person guaranteed to receive an interview is Dave Martinez, Joe Maddon’s bench coach for the past seven seasons. No matter that Martinez comes across well, or that Maddon once described him as a “second manager” on the field; critics will focus on his past—or, to be more specific, his failed attempts to land a job. Since Martinez has interviewed for numerous managerial gigs over the last several years without earning a gig, the thinking goes that he must be a flawed commodity; someone who isn’t managerial material.

That theory might be true. Martinez might not interview well—except in front of Andrew Friedman and Maddon, apparently—he might not display the strategical or emotional insights necessary to manage a club these days. But even if those charges are true—and who knows if they are—you wouldn’t be able to tell whether he’d make a good manager or not based on his success rate in interviews. Perhaps the best example of this is Maddon himself.

Before Maddon earned the Devil Rays job, he met with multiple teams over the years about their openings. He was rejected by the Red Sox, the Diamondbacks, and the Mariners. Even the Angels, with whom he’d managed on an interim basis on multiple occasions, and with whom he’d go on to serve as a bench coach for a decade, decided he wasn’t the right man for them. Nearly nine years following his appointing in St. Pete, Maddon is considered one of the best managers in baseball.

Maddon isn’t the only instance where a manager has ascended to the top of his profession after feeling the sting of rejection. Bob Melvin, the A’s well-regarded skipper, was fired by two organizations and snubbed by several others before landing (and having his stock take off) with Oakland.

Of course the only thing Martinez definitely shares with Maddon and Melvin is an initial. He could stink as a manager; he could never receive the opportunity for good reason. This is no endorsement, merely a reminder that condemning Martinez for failed interviews (and those alone) is foolish.

One Comment

  1. orestes wrote:

    Can rocco baldelli be manager?!

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