Report: Matt Williams lost the Nationals’ clubhouse

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Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post reports that Nationals manager Matt Williams lost his clubhouse as his club sputtered in the second half, frittering away the division lead in the NL East to the Mets, who clinched on Saturday evening.

From Svrluga’s article:

Now, several Nationals players believe Williams won’t be able to grow even if the club brings him back for 2016. And this isn’t just one or two malcontents. These opinions span positions and experience. “It’s a terrible environment,” one player said. “And the amazing part is everybody feels that way.”

Williams, who played for 17 seasons and made five All-Star teams, had very little coaching experience when the Nationals brought him on board as a manager. Nevertheless, the Nationals went 96-66 last season, which earned Williams NL Manager of the Year honors. Things went differently in 2015.

The Nationals entered play Saturday 78-75. They led the division by 4.5 games on July 5. They went 6-8 between the All-Star break and the end of July, 12-17 in August, and 12-11 in September.

Williams’ option for 2016 was exercised for the 2016 season back in February, but the Nationals will be under a great deal of pressure to make a change.