Results tagged ‘ Dave Martinez ’

1/7 Dave Martinez’s homecoming

Dave Martinez had hoped to be a big league manager in 2015 and take over the Rays. Instead, he’ll celebrate a homecoming as Martinez returns to the Cubs and Wrigley Field, where he made his Major League debut back in 1986.

Martinez was Maddon’s bench coach for seven seasons in Tampa Bay, and that relationship will continue with the Cubs. Martinez does have an edge over Maddon. The Cubs’ third-round pick in 1983, Martinez played four seasons with the team (1986-88, 2000) and knows Wrigley Field’s quirks. Maddon got his first look inside the Cubs’ ballpark during an Interleague series last June.

“I told him on the bus, ‘You’re really going to appreciate baseball once you see Wrigley,'” Martinez said by phone Wednesday. “After the first game, on the way back to the hotel, he looked at me and said, ‘That was impressive.'”

Maddon isn’t used to playing so many home day games and has said he’ll rely on Martinez, 50, for advice.

“One thing [Maddon] likes is to make sure is the guys get plenty of rest,” Martinez said. “He’d rather see quality not quantity, and we’ve been really good at that [with the Rays].”

When Maddon left Tampa Bay, Martinez interviewed for the opening. But Kevin Cash got the job, and Martinez resigned in late November.

“It was definitely disappointing,” Martinez said. “I felt like I was groomed for the job and I knew everything. I knew what needed to happen moving forward. They decided they wanted a totally different voice and a different face. That being said, I thought it would be best for me and my family to do something else and go somewhere else. I have no ill feelings about anything — we had a great run and I met some unbelievable people and a lot of those guys are like family to me. Moving forward, I’m a Chicago Cub and I know this will be a blessing for me and my family. Hopefully we bring a championship to Wrigley.”

Martinez predicted Maddon will make it very interesting with the Cubs. Could there be a blues band in the clubhouse? Who knows?

“Spring training is going to be a lot different than you’ve ever seen,” Martinez said. “We want guys to wake up and say, ‘Hey, I can’t wait to get to the ballpark.'”

Martinez has been watching video to familiarize himself with the players. Now a father of four, he’s eager to get back to Chicago.

“It’s really like me coming to my second home,” Martinez said.

— Carrie Muskat

12/5 Dascenzo, Baez & more

* The Cubs plan on taking advantage of Doug Dascenzo’s expertise in base running and the outfield, and have him to teach at both the Major and Minor League levels in the organization. Dascenzo was bumped from manager Joe Maddon’s coaching staff to make room for Dave Martinez, who was hired Thursday as the bench coach. Brandon Hyde, who was the bench coach in 2014, will move to first base coach, which was to have been Dascenzo’s job in 2015. Now, Dascenzo will be the Cubs outfield and baserunning coordinator.

“He’s a Cub — he handled it with complete grace,” Theo Epstein said of Dascenzo, who played for the Cubs from 1988-92.

Hyde will continue to run Spring Training, but Martinez moves back into the familiar spot next to Maddon, returning to the team that drafted him in 1983.

“Obviously, he’s Joe’s right-hand man and I think that’s proved to be a winning combination in the past and we’re excited to have both guys,” Epstein said of Martinez, whom the Cubs had interviewed for the manager job prior to the 2014 season.

Epstein said he liked Martinez because he has “an edge to him as a coach,” and is able to communicate well with players. Dascenzo will still spend significant time with the big league team, Epstein said.

* New Cubs hitting coach John Mallee will get to work with Javier Baez, joining the infielder in Puerto Rico. Baez is expected to begin playing for Santurce on Dec. 11, and will start four to five games a week, Epstein said.

“Javy’s had some time away from the game and decompressed a little bit, and I think it’s certainly a testament to his work ethic and his desire to improve that he’s out there getting ready to play winter ball and get ready for the season,” Epstein said.

There’s no set number of at-bats for Baez, who batted .169 in 52 games with the Cubs this past season, striking out 95 times in 213 at-bats.

* The Cubs staff will have a chance to see Kris Bryant at the Winter Meetings as well. The third baseman, named the Minor League Player of the Year by several organizations, including, will be honored as the top home run hitter in the Minors. Epstein said Bryant, who belted 43 home runs last season at Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa, has built a batting cage at his home and was working on his swing there this offseason.

— Carrie Muskat

12/4 Martinez to Cubs

Joe Maddon will get to keep his bench coach, Dave Martinez. The Cubs announced Thursday that Martinez, 50, will join Maddon’s coaching staff on the Cubs as the bench coach.

In early October, the Cubs finalized the coaching staff, which included Brandon Hyde as bench coach. But Rick Renteria was the manager at that time. Renteria was dismissed Oct. 31 to make room for Maddon, who opted out of his contract with the Rays and signed a five-year, $25 million deal to manage the Cubs.

Martinez was one of the original candidates to replace Maddon as the Rays manager but in late November, was told he was not in the final three, and decided to leave Tampa Bay. He has been Maddon’s bench coach for seven seasons, beginning in 2008.

Martinez will be coming back to the team that first drafted him back in 1983 in the third round. He played four seasons with the Cubs — 1986-88 and again in 2000 — and spent 16 years as a player with nine total teams.

Hyde, 41, will stay with the Cubs as first base coach. Doug Dascenzo, who was hired as first base coach and outfield instructor, will now focus on outfield and base running with the Major League and Minor League players.

Maddon’s staff is now complete.

— Carrie Muskat

12/1 Cubs to talk to Martinez

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the Cubs have asked for and received permission to talk to Dave Martinez, who was Joe Maddon’s bench coach. And, if the Cubs were to hire Martinez, it would not require any compensation. Martinez was dropped from consideration for the Rays managerial opening, and then told the team last week he was leaving. The Cubs would have to make room on the coaching staff for Martinez.

— Carrie Muskat

11/26 Dave Martinez update

Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said they will talk to manager Joe Maddon about Dave Martinez, who announced on Tuesday that he was leaving the Rays after being eliminated from consideration for Tampa’s managerial opening. Martinez, 50, has spent the past seven seasons as Maddon’s bench coach. Hoyer and Theo Epstein are familiar with Martinez, having interviewed him for the Cubs managerial opening prior to the 2014 season. Martinez was a finalist, but Rick Renteria got the job, only to be dismissed Oct. 31 to make room for Maddon. The Cubs recently added Henry Blanco as a quality assurance coach.

Hoyer talked about Martinez during an interview on 87.7 FM The Game Wednesday.

— Carrie Muskat

11/25 Dave Martinez update

Dave Martinez did not make the final cut for the Rays’ vacated manager’s post. Now he has decided not to return in his role as the team’s bench coach. Martinez released the following statement Tuesday:

“I informed the Rays this week that I have chosen to move forward and consider other opportunities that may present themselves outside the organization,” Martinez said. “It was a hard decision that I think is best for myself and the Rays. I want to thank our fans for their overwhelming support. It has meant the world to my family and me. For the past nine years, the players and staff have been an extension of my family and the memories that we have all shared and the relationships that have been built will stay with me forever. I can’t thank them enough for all they have meant to me.”

Martinez, 50, has spent the past seven seasons as the Rays bench coach next to Joe Maddon, who was named the Cubs manager on Nov. 3. Martinez had one more year on his contract as the team’s bench coach. He was not one of the final three candidates for the Rays’ managerial opening.

The Cubs do not have an opening on their coaching staff, but with Maddon signing a five-year deal, he most likely would want someone on the staff he is familiar with. The Cubs recently added Henry Blanco to the staff as a quality assurance coach. Brandon Hyde was Rick Renteria’s bench coach this past season.

— Carrie Muskat

11/25 Dave Martinez rumors

Could Dave Martinez join Joe Maddon on the Cubs staff? According to’s Ken Rosenthal, the Rays will not stand in Martinez’s way if the Cubs or another team requests to interview him for a coaching job. Martinez is under contract with the Rays through next season. Martinez was a candidate for the Rays managerial opening but was told last Friday that he was not one of the final three candidates.

11/22 Henry Blanco is back

Henry Blanco is back with the Cubs, joining manager Joe Maddon’s staff as a quality assurance coach. It might not be the only change. Blanco, 43, who played for the Cubs from 2005-08, was a coach on the Diamondbacks staff.

In December 2013, Blanco signed a Minor League League deal with the Diamondbacks, but was released on March 31 this year, ending a 16-year career as a player. He then joined Arizona manager Kirk Gibson’s staff as a coach.

Blanco replaces Jose Castro, who took a job on the Braves staff as an assitant hitting coach, and is the first add to Maddon’s staff with the Cubs. There could be more. Dave Martinez, who has been Maddon’s bench coach since 2008 with the Rays, was dropped on Friday from the list of candidates for the Tampa managerial opening. Martinez, 50, also is a former Cubs player — 1986-88 — and may be a valuable addition for Maddon in his switch to the National League.

The Cubs announced the coaching staff in early October, but that was before Maddon was named as manager. Rick Renteria was dismissed Oct. 31, and Maddon named the Cubs skipper three days later after he opted out of his contract with the Rays. Pitching coach Chris Bosio and hitting coach John Mallee were both expected on Maddon’s staff.

— Carrie Muskat

11/21 Could Martinez join Maddon?

According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, bench coach Dave Martinez is no longer in the running for the Rays managerial opening. Perhaps Martinez will join Joe Maddon on the Cubs coaching staff? Martinez actually interviewed for the Cubs manager’s job prior to last season. Rick Renteria was named manager, and then dismissed to make room for Maddon, who became available when he opted out of his contract. Martinez was the Cubs’ third-round Draft pick in 1983, and played for the team from 1986-88, and again in 2000.

Topkin reports that Kevin Cash, Raul Ibanez and Don Wakamatsu are the three finalists for the Rays job.

“The decision on Dave Martinez was especially difficult,” said the Rays’ Matt Silverman.

The Cubs announced their 2015 coaching staff in early October but Renteria was expected to be the manager at that time. When Maddon was hired on Nov. 3, Cubs executives said there could be some changes to the staff.

— Carrie Muskat

8/9 Welcome home

It’s been a nice homecoming at Wrigley Field for Rays bench coach Dave Martinez. Martinez broke into the big leagues with the Cubs in 1986, and played with the team until July 14, 1988, when he was traded to the Expos for Mitch Webster. He returned to the Cubs in 2000, but was traded again to the Rangers in June that year.

The former outfielder said he spent the first five innings of Friday’s game talking about Wrigley and former Cubs manager Don Zimmer, who died in June. The Rays wear a “Zim” patch on the sleeve of their uniform in Zimmer’s memory.

“[Maddon] has been to Boston and other places, but he was saying, ‘This is unbelievable,'” Martinez said of the Rays manager, who had never been inside Wrigley until this weekend’s Interleague series. “I had told him, ‘When you come here and see the ivy on the wall and the stadium, you’re looking at basebal history.’ That’s what I look at every time. I’ve always told everybody it’s my favorite place to play. You just get goosebumps thinking about playing here.”

Zimmer managed the Cubs from 1988-91, and the team won the National League East that year with a 93-69 record.

“Zim never goes away,” Martinez said. “To this day, I never think Zim is gone. We left his locker as is. We’re never going to take it down.”

Martinez, 49, nearly returned to Wrigley Field as the manager. He interviewed last offseason and was a finalist for the job, which was given to then-Padres bench coach Rick Renteria.

“I like Rick, he’s a great guy and I think he’s done a great job,” Martinez said. “This organization is definitely heading in the right direction. They have plenty of young kids in the Minor Leagues. I look at them now, and look at how [the Rays] were when we started — and they’re headed in the same direction.”

— Carrie Muskat