Matt Williams

It’s official: Matt Williams is the Nationals’ new manager


Matt Williams has officially been hired to replace Davey Johnson as Nationals manager, with a press conference scheduled tomorrow.

In announcing the move general manager Mike Rizzo said: “He’s been someone on my radar as a potential manager for years.”

Williams has been serving as Arizona’s third base coach under manager Kirk Gibson, but was the Diamondbacks’ third baseman way back when Rizzo was their scouting director.

No word yet on if Johnson’s bench coach, Randy Knorr, will stick around in the same job with Williams after interviewing for the manager gig himself. Williams, who played 17 seasons in the majors and made six All-Star teams before going into coaching, is 47 years old.

UPDATE: Knorr is returning, so the Nationals get their top outside candidate and keep their favorite in-house guy too.

Royals clinch home field advantage, best record in the American League

Lorenzo Cain
AP Photo
1 Comment

With a 6-1 win over the Twins in Sunday’s season finale, the Royals clinched the best record in the American League, which nets them home field advantage in the ALDS and ALCS. The Royals stand at 95-67 while the Blue Jays, who lost on Sunday, finish at 93-69.

95-67 is the Royals’ best record since finishing 97-65 in 1980, when they lost the World Series to the Phillies. Their division title is their first since 1985.

In the ALDS, which starts on Thursday, the Royals will host the winner of the AL Wild Card game between the Astros and Yankees. They are looking to avenge last year’s World Series loss, in seven games, to the Giants. The Blue Jays will host the Rangers in the other ALDS series.

Yankees to host AL Wild Card Game after Astros lose to D’Backs

Jacoby Ellsbury, Tony Pena
AP Photo
Leave a comment

Both the Astros’ and the Yankees’ fates were decided before their own games had completed on Sunday. The Rangers defeated the Angels, which clinched a Wild Card spot for the Astros. Then the Astros dropped Sunday’s season finale to the Diamondbacks, which clinched the first AL Wild Card slot for the Yankees. The Yankees are on their way to a loss against the Orioles as of this writing, but that will not affect anything now.

The Astros were in a 3-3 tie with the Diamondbacks in the seventh inning, but reliever Chad Qualls served up a two-run home run to Paul Goldschmidt. That would prove to be the deciding factor in a 5-3 loss.

The Yankees are losing 7-4 to the Orioles behind a subpar start by Michael Pineda and a shaky performance by the bullpen.

The MLB postseason opens up with the Yankees hosting the Astros on Tuesday in the AL Wild Card game. The winner moves on to face the Royals in Kansas City in the ALDS.