home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


October 15, 2019

Dave Martinez

Washington D.C. - pregame 4

Q. Given the success the starters have had against the Cardinals lineup, I wonder if you can describe the role that advanced scouting might have played in that. The guys that you had out there looking at the Cardinals and how it's prepped the starters.
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, our scouts have been on what we thought the teams that would make the playoffs for over the last month or so, and they've done a great job with their advanced reports, and they passed it along to our analytical people and talking, and we then give the information to the players. Paul Menhart, our analytical guy, is down here, too. We put together a pretty good game plan.

With that being said, our starters have always been prepared all year long facing opponents, and they do a good job processing information and using it.

Q. What's the left of detail, and how is it different than, say, in regular season?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Not much, but it's -- you know, in these clubs, we tell them it's about the little things. We've got to execute. Every pitch means -- it magnifies a little bit now, but they've been on board with all the information. So it's been good.

Q. What difference did it make last night to not have to use Doolittle and Hudson? Did any part of you want to give Rainey the opportunity to close the game? I know it was a big lead, but to experience what that was like?
DAVE MARTINEZ: That was part of it, yeah. I wanted him to pitch the ninth inning. I thought it would be good for him to experience that in a big moment on a big stage, and he did well. Not being able -- not having to use Doo and Huddy was awesome. We gave them a day off, and now they come back, and they're fresh for today.

Q. Davey, we talked a lot with you about how you were able to stay so positive when things were bad. I'm curious how much -- how your conversations were with Mike Rizzo at the time and maybe how he reacted to the whole scenario helped you react, as well.
DAVE MARTINEZ: He was good, really. As you all know, I talk to Mike four or five times a day. Some conversations are good. Some are not so good, but we get along really, really good. I mean, super good. But he knows the kind of person I am, and I know the kind of person he is. We've had conversations before, and he always says, hey, you do you and do your thing, and I'm never going to tell you ever how to manage a game. I'm never going to tell you -- you know, I'll give you my opinion, like he always does, and I listen, but from there on out, he lets me do what I do.

I love that about him. I let him do what he does. Sometimes, like I said, he'll come out and vent, and I'm okay with it. It's part of it. There's days after games where he sees a different side of me and I'll vent a little bit, but it stays in that room between him and I.

Q. Dave, in the time you've been here, what was sort of the moment when you realized what Ryan Zimmerman really meant to this franchise that you couldn't have seen just being on the outside?
DAVE MARTINEZ: You know what, honestly, it was day one. I mean, day one, you don't often get to play for one team your whole career and not be an individual that understands what goes on, not only in the clubhouse, but in this organization for this city. He means all that to everybody around here.

What he's doing now does not surprise me one bit. Like I said, the biggest thing for him -- and I've said this all along -- was his health. If you get a healthy Ryan Zimmerman, the product on the field speaks for itself. So I'm proud of him. I'm proud of him coming back and working hard to get back and to help us win games.

Q. Davey, players have said that a large part of the turnaround was how much fun it felt like they were having again. You guys did some things earlier in the season like smashing the cabbage, but to have that come from, I guess, the players and have it be a little more organic, was there a difference in the way you felt the clubhouse change?
DAVE MARTINEZ: No, we always encourage having fun, really. The biggest thing for me is everybody having fun, not just a group of guys. I mean, everybody was included now. I know you hear about Stephen Strasburg being loose and dancing, and I said this before, you ever seen Stephen Strasburg dance? It will make you laugh, make you have fun. I'm not saying he's a bad dancer. He's actually getting a lot better. So it's kind of nice.

But, you know, bringing Parra in and having him -- we talked about this today and just having him be that constant every day. I mean, it's tough to not have fun when he's around. He made a comment yesterday because he was on Intentional Talks, and he comes in, the first thing he says, he goes, man, I nailed it. My English was perfect. My name is no more Gerardo, it's Gerard. You can't be serious. You've got to laugh at him, but he was dead serious. And he started going around the clubhouse saying, you call me Gerard from now on. Whatever.

I want them to have fun. I want them to be loose. Like I said before, we're not here solving the world's problems. We're here playing a baseball game. Some of you guys have done it since you were 3, 4 years old. So just go out there and have fun.

Q. Do you consider managing Victor's workload, or did you bring him back knowing that he could now play every day? Was that sort of the reason why he got back in the lineup?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Absolutely. For me it's, like I said, getting him back at 100 percent, and once we got there, it's for him to play, not just play him one day, sit him one day. And he felt good. Yesterday, I talked to him before the ninth inning, and I says, hey, look, I would not mind taking you out right now if you need it. If you feel like, you know, and he says, I feel great. He says, don't take me out. I'm good, and I want to play. Obviously, he played the rest of the game. Talked to him today, and he felt great.

We want him to play. As you all know, he's an exciting player. He helped us get to this point right now. Having him in the lineup definitely helps us.

Q. It's obviously a small sample size in this series, but what are you seeing from Juan at the plate? Is he squeezing the bat a little tight with the playoffs? What's going on right now?
DAVE MARTINEZ: I don't want to say he's pressing. We talked to him a little bit about using the whole field again. I think he's trying to pull a lot of balls. We want him to utilize hitting the ball back up the middle. Like when he's really good, that's what he does. And just, like I said, swing at strikes. The biggest thing for me with him is to swing at balls in the strike zone.

Q. David, I think it's been about a month since your heart procedure. What impact has that had on your health, your life, how you feel, how you must sort of tend to it on a day-to-day basis? Anything like that?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Honestly, I feel really good. I don't know if you guys have noticed, I have been sitting down a little bit more in the dugout. Just because the doctor told me to kind of keep the heart rate down a little bit. It's tough to do, but I'm doing it, and it's helped a lot.

I feel my health is great. I took all the tests.

Everything came back negative, and I feel good. So the running joke now is I had to take a stress test, and I told the doctors, I said, you don't see me every day? I take a stress test every day, and I think I'm passing. They started laughing, and they said, no, you're going to take a real one now, and I passed that one. So everything's good. Thank you for asking.

Q. Dave, what's it been like to be alongside guys like Zimmerman and Howie and even Strasburg, who are getting into these uncharted waters and not just performing, but performing really well, and the joy that they're deriving out of this run?
DAVE MARTINEZ: For me, those guys, they're having fun. It all boils down to they're having fun, and they're -- I look at them, and what they're doing is -- doesn't surprise me, but yet it's incredible of what they're really doing, especially Howie. I mean, Howie -- as we all know, he struggled a little bit on defense, and for him to come back and just totally forget about it and continue to play the way he's playing, to me, that's only -- that only tells me what a constant professional he is. He's one of the big heartbeats with our ball club. Guys look up to him. He talks to a lot of our young players daily. He understands the game really, really well.

Same thing with Zim. I mean, Zim really understands this game really, really well, and he does everything he can, not for him, but for his teammates. That's the biggest thing with these guys is that they play for their teammates.

Q. I know you said it's all about having fun, but what I wanted to know was how do you keep them having fun when they're losing, and was this attitude of sort of loose attitude of having fun the same attitude they had at the beginning of the season?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, as you all know, we didn't start off very well, and the biggest thing was to stay positive. That's part of it. We stayed positive, and I encourage them throughout that process to have fun and not forget about the process. Part of the process is to have fun.

I told Parra, like I said, he brings the fun every day, he went through a stretch where he was 2 for 30-something. And I didn't see the energy that I was seeing when he was doing well and bringing it to the clubhouse. So I called him in one day, and I sat with him. I said, what's going on? He said, I don't know, I'm not doing good. And I go, and? And he looked at me and said, what do you mean? I said, your job is to bring the energy every day. I don't care if you're 2 for 100. Bring the energy. Play that music, get loud, and have fun. Have fun.

He said, you're right, and he went back and started playing music, having fun. Lo and behold, he went on a tear again, and he comes back in my office, and he said, you know, I kind of forgot what it was like to just be myself. And I said, exactly. So I don't ever want to see you do that again, you know? You're another heartbeat of this team. It's not just about you, it's about everybody else. Like I said, 2 for 100, you've got to be yourself, and he's been doing it.

Q. Kind of in tune with that, I'm still hung up on the smashing cabbages thing. Is that a ritual that you guys have maintained? Are there other creative things that you guys have done to lighten the mood in there? Camels? Anything?
DAVE MARTINEZ: You've got to be in the circle. No, we start at Spring Training, we had fun with it. It was National Cabbage Day. That's how it all started.

Q. That's not still a thing?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Oh, no, we've done it.

Q. Is there any examples that you can provide of what you've done as the season has gone on?
DAVE MARTINEZ: You have to be in the circle.

Q. I'll ask Jess.
DAVE MARTINEZ: Jess, are you in the circle?

Q. No.
Q. Hey, Davey, following up on what you were talking about stress level, what role has Chip Hale played this year with keeping you even keeled. Not just since your heart issue, but also earlier in the season when you guys were struggling?
DAVE MARTINEZ: He's been awesome. He's talked about -- he's an extension of my voice, one. We sit. We talk a lot pregame about what we want to do, what we want to accomplish, how we want to process things. But he's been my confidant. Really, we struggle, and our message has always been the same. He's been one of the guys who pass that along to the players about staying positive, not pointing any fingers, and just playing the game.

I mean, Chip's a student of the game. He's unbelievable. He's on top of everything. He does a great job. I love him to death. I mean, we have some intense conversations, and we learn from each other every day.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297