Quote of the Day: Matt Williams writes his managerial epitaph

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This is a quote from Matt Williams’ appearance on a local radio show this morning. It represents him doubling down on his postgame comments last night regarding his failure to use Jonathan Papelbon on two straight nights when the Nats blew late leads. We talked about all of that this morning, of course. Frankly, I’m amazed that he’s sticking with this mantra:

“He’s our closer,” Matt Williams said Wednesday morning in his weekly spot with “The Junkies” on 106.7 The Fan, speaking of Papelbon, idle the previous two nights. “He’s the one that closes the game.”

It’s less technically accurate but more cosmically accurate to picture Williams repeating that to himself, over and over again, as he walks through his dark, empty house this winter, trying to come to grips with his state of unemployment. The tone and inflection changes each time he repeats it — “He’s OUR closer . . . ” “He’s our CLOSER!” as if they were different arguments in service of a grand point. Every now and again his family members come by and, reassuringly but with great sorrow, say “Yes, Matt. He is our closer . . . now turn on a light and have something to eat. We’re all worried about you.”

Oh well. That quote is served up in Barry Svrluga’s fairly devastating takedown of Williams in the Washington Post. Not devastating in its sharpness, really, but just by virtue of the local press clearly turning on Williams in a city whose press corps doesn’t turn on the local coaches all that often.

Nationals’ Strasburg ejected for arguing from the stands

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — A pitcher getting ejected for arguing balls and strikes – on his day off? And, from the stands?

Nationals star Stephen Strasburg earned one of baseball’s most unique ejections – probably ever – in the third inning of Washington’s game against the New York Mets on Thursday.

Strasburg was sitting in Section 121 at Citi Field in this socially distant season because he’s scheduled to start Friday against Baltimore Orioles. He was apparently unhappy with the strike zone of plate umpire Carlos Torres after Austin Voth‘s 2-2 pitch to Pete Alonso on the outside corner was ruled a ball.

Moments later, Torres ejected last year’s World Series MVP, though it took a few seconds to realize who had been tossed.

Someone was heard yelling: “You’re (expletive) brutal” shortly before television cameras captured Strasburg doffing his cap as he walked up the staircase on his way out of the park.

“Sorry, folks – sorry, FCC,” Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen said on SNY.

The usually stoic Strasburg appeared to be grinning underneath his blue mask as he made his exit.