There was no cabbage races today, and today’s camp was quiet except for bats against balls in the first rounds of live BP. Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin gave an All-Star presence on the mound that the Nats batters had to face a day after position players had to report. It had to feel like they were thrust into the fire, and Scherzer and Corbin were firing fastballs. There was also a refresher course on fundamentals as was promised in camp.
“[Today] was great,” manager Davey Martinez said. “We spent a little longer today on the field than I wanted to. But we got a lot accomplished in one day which was good. I had to send a message that we’re serious about the defense — we’re serious about all the little things that nobody really thinks about. Everybody thinks about the home runs and strikeouts and things, but we’re going to do all the little things right.”
If you are sick of hearing Martinez preach about the little things, get used to it. That is one of his incessant messages. We get it Davey. Hopefully this new roster who are more defensive-minded improves these fundamental mistakes we saw last year, but it begs the question again, will Davey improve his management style where the little things are not trivialized like batting orders and matchups and rest schedules? The river runs both ways on the little things.
“Sometimes you get one shot to do it right,” Martinez said. “So we want to make sure that we hone in on doing it right. So it was kind of a message: When this thing happens in a game, we want to be prepared. It may not happen great all the time, but we’re going to work on it.”
The buzz of the Manny Machado signing by the Padres spread through camp quickly just before 1 p.m., and the media looked to Max Scherzer for his take on it. Sean Doolittle who has been outspoken on the slow free agent market now has pivoted to some focus on the “little guys” who remain unsigned.
Spring training started with 2 of our biggest stars still unsigned. All-stars & proven MLB vets are still without a club a week into camp, dozens more have had to settle for non roster invites. MM’s deal is good for the game but don’t spit on my cupcake and tell me it’s frosting. https://t.co/sOcPqPYo8m
— Sean Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) February 20, 2019
Yes, and don’t spit on my cupcake and tell me it’s frosting. That might be one of Doolittle’s most interesting quips.