Jim Bowden Would Fire Washington Nationals Manager Dave Martinez, Hire Joe Girardi

The Nationals' window to win is now, Jim Bowden says, and they shouldn't be hovering around .500

Reiter Than You
October 30, 2018 - 9:45 am

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The Washington Nationals fired Dusty Baker after two wildly successful seasons in 2016-17. The Nats won 95 and 97 games, respectively, winning the NL East both years. But after back-to-back loses in Game 5 of the NLDS – first to the Dodgers, then to the Cubs – Baker was out, and rookie manager Dave Martinez was in.

Well, the Nationals are 52-53 entering play July 31, so it’s fair to question whether firing Baker for Martinez was the right move.

“I would have fired (Martinez midseason) and brought in Joe Girardi, try to win right now,” former MLB general manager and current analyst Jim Bowden said on Reiter Than You. “That’s what I would have done. That’s a 95-win club. Why are they at .500? They let Dusty Baker go because they thought Dave Martinez would do a better job in October. Well, you got to get to October.”

The Nationals trail the Phillies (58-47) by six games in the NL East. Even more troubling, Yahoo Sports MLB columnist Jeff Passan reported Monday that there are problems within the Nats’ clubhouse.

“I think there is definitely issues in the clubhouse,” Bowden said. “What Jeff Passan has reported is completely accurate here. I don’t think there’s anyone that can question it. I think there are a lot of players that love Dave Martinez, but there’s a lot of players who don’t know their roles. A lot of the bullpen guys and closers don’t know when they’re going to be used. The lineup changes on a regular basis.

“I like Dave Martinez and I think he can develop into a good manager in time,” Bowden continued. “But do you really want to develop a manager when you have a window to win a World Series right now when you still got Scherzer and you still got Harper? That’s kind of how I feel.”

Some think the Nationals could be sellers at the trade deadline. Bowden, however, wouldn’t do that.

“If you sell now – which they may end up doing – they’re only six games out,” he said. “They can catch the Phillies. They can catch the Braves. The Phillies and Braves have never been there. We’ll see how good they are come mid-September. But I think the Nats have put themselves in a difficult position.”