Yesterday, after the Washington Post published its damning story about how Matt Williams had lost the Nationals clubhouse, someone quite understandably asked Williams for comment.
As CSN Mid-Atlantic.com reports, Williams said “I think if we’re going to talk about it, it’s going to take longer than a conference like this,” and added, “I think you have to have all the facts. I mean all of them. So that being said, I’ll hold my comments for now. Because all of the facts aren’t out there.”
For the entire rich story of the situation, yes, you do have to have all of the facts. And eventually, I presume, we will. We’ll know to what extent Williams’ shortcomings as a manager were met with players who were uncooperative or had bad attitudes and what else, apart from what was reported in the Post yesterday, made the 2015 Washington Nationals all of the wonderful things that they came to be.
But, insofar as it relates to Matt Williams’ status as the manager of the Nats, does it really matter? Here are the possibilities that more facts could potentially reveal:
- Williams has been a bad clubhouse guy but it was a two-way street and the disputes mentioned in the article were more complex than portrayed;
- Williams’ players revolted, but they did so for no good reason and are being major jerks now;
- Williams’ players didn’t truly revolt at all, but some of them and others close to the team are telling reporters that they did;
Which of those scenarios ends with Williams still having a job? I can’t see one. Because any of them reveal seriously bad blood, in the form of either (a) players who have been treated like crap; (b) players who have been treated like crap but gave as good as they got; or (c) players who actually weren’t treated like crap at all but want the world to think they were and are throwing Williams under the bus because they hate him so much.
Indeed, the only scenario in which Williams can plausibly manage this team beyond Sunday afternoon is if the Washington Post were a pure Jason Blair-style fabrication in which no one said anything like what was reported at all. Which, no, did not happen here because the Post’s Barry Svrulga is not some crazy person. He’s an excellent reporter with good sources.
All of which is to say that, even if Williams didn’t deserve to lose the clubhouse and even if those in the clubhouse he lost are overstating the severity of situation, his position as a manager was untenable once yesterday’s story came out.
So, while history may reveal that the players in Washington were far worse than the manager and while Matt Williams may someday be vindicated, he can no longer manage this club. It’s over.