Thrilled to return, Martinez vows he’s “going to be myself”

MIAMI - Davey Martinez strolled through the clubhouse this afternoon, a wide grin on his face, his arm open to receiving hugs from anyone and everyone who welcomed the Nationals manager back to work five days after he had to go to the hospital mid-game due to chest pains.

Nothing about the 53-year-old skipper looked or sounded different. He was full of energy. He was eager to talk about tonight’s series opener against the Marlins, provide injury updates on Kurt Suzuki and Matt Adams and the challenge facing the Nationals as they attempt a mad dash to the finish line, with 11 games in 10 days in search of a wild card berth.

The only real change, to be honest, was the drink on Martinez’s desk. Water. No coffee, at least not right now while he’s still recovering from Monday’s cardiac catheterization procedure in Washington.

Martinez-Fedde-Dugout-Gray-sidebar.jpgThat’s it, though. Martinez has been cleared by doctors to travel and manage and do everything else he needs to do before, during and after games. He insists he doesn’t need to change anything.

“I’m going to be myself,” he said. “I don’t know how to be anything else. I’m not going to drink any coffee. I’m going to stick to water for a while. But I’m excited to get back out there and manage the games and watch our boys play.”

Martinez declined to go into any detail about the medical procedure he had done, but he was in a Washington hospital for two days while doctors diagnosed and then treated him. He returned home Tuesday but had to wait to be cleared to travel, which he did Thursday.

“The bottom line is they ran all these tests,” he said. “I had an unbelievable doctor. Everything came out negative, so I feel good and I’m ready to go. That’s the gist of it.”

When he wasn’t sleeping - which he did a lot all week - Martinez communicated with Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo and bench coach Chip Hale, who managed three games in his place in St. Louis. He watched all three games on television, which made for something of a helpless feeling.

“It stunk. It really did,” he said. “It was hard to watch the games and not be a part of it with the guys in the dugout. But like I said, I’m back. There’s nothing I could’ve done except try to get healthy and see what was going on. I’m back and excited and we move forward, and here we are today playing the Marlins.”

Martinez made a point to thank his family, friends, members of the Nationals, members of other baseball organizations and fans for reaching out to him and offering well wishes. “It was unbelievable,” he said. “Overwhelming.”

More than anything, the lifelong baseball man was appreciating the fact he gets to return to work tonight and be with his team again after a difficult five days away from everyone.

“It was awesome to see these guys,” he said. “Regardless of what happens, the outcome, being around these guys, a great bunch of guys, they brighten up my day every day. The conversations that we have daily, I missed that the last few days. I’m glad to be back.”

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