Maddon Gets His Man, Cubs Leadership Grows Even Stronger
In a move that should have surprised no one (okay, maybe some), the Cubs finally added Davey Martinez to their coaching staff as Joe Maddon’s bench coach.
All along, there were some hurdles to the finalization of Maddon’s staff and the seemingly no-brainer addition of Martinez.
When Maddon was brought into the Cubs organization, they had just made some fresh coaching hires. New hitting coach John Mallee and Brandon Hyde have ties to the front office and were likely to be retained in some capacity. Doug Dascenzo, who was recently brought on as first-base coach, will now serve as an outfield/base-running coordinator for the organization.
The complexity of how Maddon was brought to Chicago, including the hurt feelings and pending tampering investigation with Tampa Bay, was likely a major factor in at least talking to Martinez. Martinez himself was interviewing for the managerial position in Tampa vacated by Maddon, for which he was recenlty passed over.
The former Cub had also interviewed for the managerial gig last year that went to Rick Renteria.
Martinez has a terrific reputation within the game as a teacher and as a renowned tactician, especially his defensive positioning skills. Most new managerial hires get to choose their own staff, yet Maddon’s situation was sort of unique. I’m sure he and the front office agreed upon the new structure of the staff together. Yet, I’m certain that, deep down, Maddon wanted at least one of his trusted guys on his staff. He got that in Martinez.
Maddon has already talked about the need for strong lieutenants to keep his message permeating throughout the clubhouse. Martinez is Maddon’s main lieutenant, and has been since 2008.
Martinez also brings with him the much-mentioned “Latin influence” that some of the younger and up-and-coming players within the organization should feel comfortable leaning upon, not to mention his 16-year playing career that started here with the Cubs.
Speaking of that playing career, there is also a sensitive cloud that follows Martinez surrounding his Cubs days.
There are longtime rumors that have involved Martinez, specifically related to a personal fallout between he and Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg. From what I understand, the Cubs brass broached the subject with Martinez during the managerial interview process last year, and they came away satisfied that it wasn’t an issue moving forward.
When you take a look at this organization from top to bottom, it is hard not to be blown away by the talent that peppers the both the front office and the coaching staff. Martinez is just another industry star the Cubs have been able to accumulate, along with Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Jason McLeod, and Maddon.
Now, it is time to work on the on-the-field depth chart.