Is this the year Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez gets manager job?
Subscribe for unlimited digital access.
Try one month for $1!
Subscribe for unlimited digital access. Try one month for $1!
WASHINGTON — Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez doesn’t know why he hasn’t been hired as a manager by now, but he knows one thing.
“I am ready,” he said.
Manager Joe Maddon’s bench coach since their days with the Rays, Martinez has interviewed for five openings in recent years, with the Indians, Blue Jays, Nationals, Astros and, most recently, the Dodgers.
He had no interviews last year, and none of the teams with openings — the Mets, Phillies and Tigers — has contacted the Cubs for permission to talk to Martinez. But that could happen when the Cubs’ playoff run is over.
“It’s baffling to me a bit why that doesn’t occur more often,’’ Maddon said. ‘‘He’s been around a lot of winning teams here. I see all the names [of rumored candidates], and there’s a lot of good names. But I’m telling you, to not include his name with these people just baffles me.”
Martinez, who came up with the Cubs in 1986 and played 16 years as a big-league outfielder, said he thinks the Cubs’ run of playoff appearances should help his chances this time around.
He also is well aware of baseball’s lack of diversity among managers, with only three non-white managers in the majors. But he said he doesn’t believe he has been the victim of any hiring bias or that diversity efforts should give him any extra consideration.
“I truly believe that you’re hired on merit,” he said.
Cubs fan makes the catch
Lifelong Cubs fan Sean Thompson of New Kent, Virginia, should have worn his Anthony Rizzo jersey to Game 2 of the National League Division Series on Saturday.
After all, Thompson, 42, became something of a TV star when he made an excellent bare-handed grab of Rizzo’s two-run homer against Gio Gonzalez in the fourth inning. Thompson snagged it from the first row of the right-field seats at Nationals Park, prompting Nats manager Dusty Baker to ask for a review, hoping Thompson interfered with the play.
After the review, during which Thompson posed for pictures in his Kris Bryant jersey, answered phone calls from friends and enjoyed some TV time, the call stood, and the Cubs led 3-1.
“I just reached kind of sideways, no big deal,” Thompson said.
Thompson wasn’t worried about the challenge. With his Cubs cap in his left hand, he reached down and made the catch with his right. He was certain the ball wasn’t in play and that he didn’t interfere.
“I was not worried, 100 percent,’’ Thompson said. “We didn’t lean over any wall, and there was no way [right fielder Bryce Harper] could climb the wall, so we were good. Not even close.’’
Jake Arrieta’s hamstring gave him no problems in a side session, according to Cubs president Theo Epstein, and the right-hander will be ready to pitch Game 4 against the Nationals.
“It’s going really well,’’ Epstein said. “I think this extra rest, his decision not to pitch that last game of the regular season, to capitalize on that extra rest and then slotting him in the fourth game, was wise. It gives him the best chance to have his hamstring close to 100 percent.”
Contributing: Daryl Van Schouwen, Rick Morrissey
Follow me on Twitter @GDubCub.