Matt Williams thinks his side of the story matters

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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.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”