Oct 4, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals managerMatt Williams
(9) argues with umpire Vic Carapazza (19) in the 10th inning against the San Francisco Giants in game two of the 2014 NLDS playoff baseball game at Nationals Park. Williams and Washington Nationals second basemanAsdrubal Cabrera
(3) were ejected. Mandatory Credit:Brad Mills
-USA TODAY Sports
2. Matt Williams (Washington Nationals)
I know, I know! This is a Washington Nationals website. Matt Williams won NL East Manager of the Year last year. How could I rank him second!?
Simple. I watched the Nats playoff run and observed some very, very questionable decisions.
I think this is the perfect example a manager guiding a great team to great heights, but not needing to make many tough decisions along the way. Now, this is not to say I think Matt Williams is a bad manager. There is something to be said for a hands-off approach and I think the art of letting players play is not to be scoffed at. A National League leading 96-66 record with a NL East championship is nothing to be ashamed of either.
But that is not a very big sample size with an awfully talented team to judge the managerial skill of one Matt Williams.
Around the Foghorn
In addition, Bruce Bochy completely outmanaged Williams in the NLDS with his masterful use of a thin bullpen (minus the complete and utter disregard for Bryce Harper‘s dominance over Hunter Strickland).
To me, taking out Jordan Zimmermann in the 9th inning after a very questionable called walk showed a bit of panic. In addition, inserting an untested Aaron Barrett in the bottom of the 7th during a high leverage situation in Game 4 resulted in the expected disaster. Managing becomes more important in the microscope of the playoffs and Matt Williams showed signs that he needs more experience to raise his game to the next level and earn that top spot.
If Matt Williams is not number one in our NL East manager rankings, that would leave just one lucky candidate.
Next: NL East Manager: Number 1!!!