Breaking News: Washington Nationals Fire Manager Matt Williams


It was a move that Washington Nationals fans have been waiting to hear for quite some time. Today, according to James Wagner of the Washington Post, Matt Williams will no longer be the manager of the Nats after just two seasons with the team:

In addition to firing Williams today, the organization has also chosen to fire the entire coaching staff under Williams:

In two seasons as the manager in the Nation’s Capital, Williams went 179-145 (.552 winning percentage) and he won National League Manager Of The Year in 2014 after the Nats won the National League East title with a 96-66 record. Despite some of that success, someone had to be the fall guy for the Nats’ disappointing season. In a year where many prognosticators picked this team to represent the NL in the World Series, the team finished 83-79, seven games behind the New York Mets in the NL East.

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Despite that success from a season ago, many fans look back at his questionable decisions from the 2014 NLDS loss against the Giants, whether it was taking Jordan Zimmermann out of the game in Game two of the NLDS with one out to go or not using Tyler Clippard or Drew Storen in Game four of that series. Those problems with bullpen decisions continued in 2015 when he decided to not use Jonathan Papelbon and Drew Storen in a three game series at Citi Field against the Mets from July 31-August 2, a series in which the Nats were swept.

But, the one situation Williams might be remembered for the most in DC occurred on September 27 against the Phillies when he left Papelbon in the game to pitch the ninth inning after Papelbon put his hands on Bryce Harper’s throat in the dugout. Papelbon was suspended the remainder of the season and Harper sat out the next day (which was originally a day off anyway). But, Williams said the next day he would have not put Papelbon in for the ninth had he seen what happened.

It remains to be seen what direction the Nats will go in hiring their next manager, but if you go by President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo’s comments before yesterday’s season finale, expect this process to happen quickly:

"“Any decision we make, we’re gonna be decisive and make decisions sooner rather than later about personnel both on the field, off the field and in the front office. We’re not gonna let people twist in the wind. We want to make those decisions and move on and get moving to 2016.” (h/t Chris Johnson,"

 It was a gamble for Rizzo to bring in Williams, who had no prior managing experience before taking the job in October 2013. While there were good moments during Williams’ tenures this is an organization that will go through some major changes.  Those changes started today with the firing of their manager. Injuries hurt the Nats’ season, but some of Williams’ questionable decisions hurt the team’s chances as well. Now, let the managerial search begin.

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