Zimmerman: Nats dugout 'cracking up' watching Martinez's rant originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
The Nationals defeated the Cubs, 4-3, on Wednesday evening, but the most exciting thing that happened at Wrigley Field that night was not an actual baseball play.
In the seventh inning, Nationals shortstop Trea Turner appeared to be safe at first base following a dropped third strike call after Cubs catcher Willson Contreras launched the baseball into right field. But, the umpires ultimately ruled Turner out, saying he interfered with the first baseman from catching the ball.
The call — an objectively bad one — caused Nationals manager Davey Martinez to lose it. The 56-year-old skipper sprinted to first base to argue the call. After not getting the reasoning from the umpire crew he wanted, Martinez picked up first base and threw it into foul territory before he was eventually ejected.
While that was an intense moment in the game, Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman told the Sports Junkies on Thursday that Washington’s dugout had a lot of fun watching Martinez get after it.
“We’re cracking up. I’m downstairs in the [batting] cage, kind of going through a routine and things like that,” Zimmerman said. “We have a TV down there just to kind of keep up with the game and you see it and you’re like, ‘Oh man, he’s going for it.’
“Then he goes down the base and it takes him a little while to get at it, then you’re rooting for him. You’re like ‘c’mon man, you got to get this thing out.’ … Those bases are tough, too. Those things are heavy.”
The longest-tenured National also teased that Martinez better watch out for his hamstrings the next time he sprints onto the field to argue a call.
“He’s gotta be careful of his hamstrings,” Zimmerman joked. “That’s the most I’ve seen him run down first right there. He would have beat it out. He would have been safe.”
While it was a fun moment for Zimmerman and his teammates in the dugout to witness, the first baseman was thrilled to see his manager stick up for Turner in the fashion he did.
“That’s the kind of guy he is. He sticks up for his players. He always has,” Zimmerman said. “He’s a fun guy to play for. He’s passionate. He cares about us. I think he was just tired of Trea having to go through that play two, three, four times, whatever it is, and he kind of just lost it. It was fun to watch. I enjoyed it.”