The Washington Nationals announced on Monday, that after two season they have fired manager Matt Williams. Williams last year in 2014, was the National League Manager of the Year and lead the Nationals to a division title with a record of 96-66. That year they were eliminated from the playoffs by the San Francisco Giants in the National League Division Series.
Coming into the 2015 season, many people liked the Washington Nationals as contenders for the World Series, however they were eliminated from making the playoffs. They finished in their division seven games behind the New York Mets, with a record of 83-79, just thirteen games fewer than they had won last year.
During the game after the Nationals were eliminated from the playoffs, there was a fight in the dugout between Bryce Harper the National League favorite for MVP, and teammate Jonathan Papelbon. When speaking to the press about the fight, Williams said that he had no idea how bad the fight had been. Even though he was in the dugout at the time he wasn’t aware of Papelbon grabbing Harper by the throat. He also said that his coaching staff didn’t tell him about it right away either, but at the same time he did not want to ask them what had happened.
In a conference call general manager Mike Rizzo said, “ Not one single incident was the tipping point of making the decision with Matt Williams.” Rizzo continued to say, “Like I said during the season, we’re going to take his whole body of work into consideration.”
Along with Williams, the rest of the Nationals coaching staff was let go as well. “This entire season was a disappointment,” said Rizzo. He went on to also say that it wasn’t the best year for anyone involved with the team and that they all felt that disappointment together.
After a 1-0 loss to the Mets on Sunday, Williams spoke of how things went astray during the season and how the injuries that the team faced during the year did not help either. “We’re all disappointed in the outcome. It all ends abruptly,” he said to the media in relation to the Nationals season having ended.
On Monday, Rizzo said that they were going to start their search for a new coaching staff right away.