Dave Martinez: Nationals Want Fans Present to Raise 2019 World Series Banner

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIMay 3, 2020

WASHINGTON,  - MARCH 26:  Nationals Park, home to the World Series Champion Washington Nationals, is empty on the scheduled date for Opening Day March 26, 2020 in Washington, DC. Major League Baseball has postponed the start of its season due to the COVID-19 outbreak and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred recently said the league is
Win McNamee/Getty Images

For Washington Nationals fans worried the impeding restructure of the 2020 season means the stands will be empty when the team raises its 2019 World Series banner, fear not. Dave Martinez has your back.

The Nats manager told the Associated Press (h/t ESPN) the traditional celebration will still take place once they're able to do so with a packed stadium.

"I'm sure that I speak for everyone in our organization: We're going to celebrate, somehow, someway. ... We want to hang the banner with fans. We want to get our rings with fans. When? We don't know. How? We don't know. But we want them to be involved," Martinez said. "For me, this is a big deal. A big deal for everybody. So we want to include everybody."

It's still unclear how Major League Baseball will save a season currently on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic. Two of the most prominently discussed plans include hosting all games in Arizona in isolation and realigning the divisions to keep teams separate by geographic areas of the country.

Yet no known plan at the moment accounts for starting the season with fans in the stands.

That means any type of World Series celebration in Washington D.C. at the start of the year would theoretically take place without the fanbase that cheered the team on along the way able to partake.

Typically events are held during the season-opening series with ring ceremonies and a banner raising among the key highlights. The sight of that in an empty stadium would be among the eeriest images in baseball history.

So Martinez and the team will work to make sure it doesn't happen. Not until everyone can partake in it.

In the meantime, the manager is focusing on making sure he's prepared to take over the team again whenever MLB gives the OK.

"For me," Martinez said. "There's been scenarios where I said, 'If they give us two weeks, this is what we've got to do."

Knowing that the team is still waiting to receive their rings may work out as a motivational ploy in his favor.