Davey Martinez had a follow-up procedure on his left ankle earlier today, and though he was back at Nationals Park by mid-afternoon, it was unclear if he’d be in the dugout to manage tonight’s game against the Marlins.
Martinez, who already watched one game from his office following his initial Sept. 2 surgery, has been wearing a cast since. He’s been managing all games from the dugout, his left leg propped up on the bench, but he hasn’t been able to move around or step onto the field either before or during ballgames.
Today’s post-op procedure included a new cast that should allow Martinez, 56, to move around easier. Bench coach Tim Bogar, who handled his boss’ pregame Zoom session with reporters, joked the cast is in “a beautiful Nationals red.”
“He’s looking pretty good,” Bogar said. “He’s just TBA. He’s making sure he gets through the afternoon all right. We’re still wondering if he’s going to manage tonight or not. He’s going to try to get out there. But if not, nothing has changed over the last couple weeks.”
Bogar has officially managed two games this month: the Sept. 2 game right after Martinez had his first surgery, then Friday night in Pittsburgh while Martinez was serving a brief suspension following Sean Nolin’s retaliation against the Braves for hitting Juan Soto with a pitch.
Truth be told, the longtime coach has seen his responsibilities increase throughout these last few weeks, with Martinez not as mobile as he’d usually be.
“It’s pretty much business as usual,” Bogar said. “He’s still running the game. He makes all the decisions. We talk, just like we did before his surgery. The only difference is I go out and make the pitching changes. That’s pretty much it. And if something happens, I have to be the one to go out there and voice his opinion for him.
“So he’s had me a couple times go out there with questions for umpires on certain things. And then they’ll come over and talk to him through the (dugout railing). The umpires are very understanding about it. They respect the fact he’s out there in the condition he’s in. We’re doing it the best we can.”
* Wednesday is Roberto Clemente Day, and Major League Baseball is again offering players and staffers of Puerto Rican descent the chance to wear uniform No. 21 if desired for the occasion.
Martinez, whose parents are Puerto Rican, plans to do so for the second straight season, according to a club official. The former outfielder is a lifelong Clemente admirer and last weekend took a group of Nationals players to the Roberto Clemente Museum in Pittsburgh, an annual stop for him when he’s in town.
“As you know, he’s my idol,” Martinez said last year while announcing he and his coaches were going to wear Clemente’s jersey number. “What he represents is unity. And I thought it would be nice to have the coaches represent 21 as well.”
Every team’s nominee for the 2021 Roberto Clemente Award was revealed today, and in the Nationals’ case it’s a player no longer with the club: Max Scherzer. The former staff ace, who was traded to the Dodgers along with Trea Turner on July 30, was the largest individual donor to the Nationals’ official charitable organization during his seven years with the team, helping to raise more than $1.46 million, according to the club.
The Nationals are honoring Scherzer with a youth field named for him in the Ward 8 neighborhood of Washington Highlands next year, the fourth such “Legacy Field” the organization has created around the region.
MLB will name the winner of this year’s Clemente Award, given to the player who “best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field,” during the postseason.