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Williams on criticism: “All of the facts aren’t out there”

Sep 30, 2015, 6:18 PM EDT

USA Today Sports Images

ATLANTA — Matt Williams defended himself Wednesday against a new round of harsh criticism levied at him, saying “all of the facts aren’t out there” but declining to go into more detail at this point, with five games still remaining on the Nationals’ schedule.

Responding to a question about a Washington Post expose detailing the Nationals’ season that included several unflattering anecdotes about his performance as manager, Williams suggested there was more to the story and he would share his side of it at a later date.

“I think if we’re going to talk about it, it’s going to take longer than a conference like this,” Williams said during his daily pregame session with reporters, this one in the dugout at Turner Field. “And 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.”

Among the charges outlined against Williams in the article were accusations of bullpen mismanagement, a heated encounter with Jayson Werth when the veteran outfielder was left out of the lineup one day and an overall lack of communication with his players.

“He’s like the guy in his house who hears a sound, like someone breaking in,” one anonymous player was quoted as saying in the article. “And his reaction isn’t to take care of the problem or investigate. It’s to put his head under the pillow and hope it goes away.”

Williams, the reigning NL Manager of the Year who had his contract option for 2016 picked up by the Nationals during spring training, has come under intense scrutiny this season, particularly as his team collapsed down the stretch and lost the division title to the Mets.

General manager Mike Rizzo repeatedly has said no decisions will be made about the manager’s future until the season is over, which has left Williams in the uncomfortable position of dealing with constant speculation about his position while still finishing out the string of a difficult season.

“It doesn’t feel good,” he admitted Wednesday. “It doesn’t feel good to have all of these words said. But it is what it is, and we will move on from today. But I would say that we have a few games to play, and we need to play well. That’s what I’m concentrating on now. And we’ll deal with it at the appropriate time.”

  1. simalex - Sep 30, 2015 at 6:26 PM

    So yeah, the situation in the clubhouse is as bad, worse maybe, than advertised. Great.

  2. wskyrnr21 - Sep 30, 2015 at 6:26 PM

    ……………….”But I would say that we have a few games to play, and we need to play well. That’s what I’m concentrating on now. And we’ll deal with it at the appropriate time.”

    Sounds like each of his post-game press conferences where ” we just have to prepare for tomorrow”

    The only thing that resonates throughout these comments in the sound of MW packing his bags.

    Hopefully the next manager will have the authority to sit his ball players when they don’t hustle etc.!!

    • rabbit433 - Sep 30, 2015 at 6:29 PM

      Well, packing his bags is preparing for tomorrow!!!

    • glovehead - Sep 30, 2015 at 6:43 PM

      Isn’t that the truth. I’ve stopped listening to his pressers for that reason. As we all saw the problems grow, MW seemed oblivious. I trust that he is not an ignorant man, but this “everything is fine” demeanor that he puts forth is very infuriating and insulting to the fans.

  3. JayB - Sep 30, 2015 at 6:36 PM

    MW is a total loser as a Manager…..He is in way over his head and Rizzo again failed to do his due diligence on Paps and MW……Rizzo is way over rated as a GM and a complete disaster as a VP of Baseball Operations……..Scout great…Asst GM very good….GM he is getting exposed as a ego driven, defensive and angry blow hard who refuses to admit he was wrong about anything….That is a skill you need to have when you are in charge…his shoulders are so thin and he is sucking them in more and more.

    • voteforno6 - Sep 30, 2015 at 8:04 PM

      I guess Rizzo’s biggest mistake is not consulting you. What is he supposed to do? I’m pretty sure that he would tell you that not every move will work out. And, if he were so inclined, he would probably go into great detail as to what went wrong this season. My guess is that he doesn’t, since those aren’t the sort of things that you air in public, and certainly not while there still are games to play.

      • adcwonk - Sep 30, 2015 at 9:54 PM


        (for voteforno6)

  4. JayB - Sep 30, 2015 at 6:39 PM

    Rizzo and MW are the same in that regard…..oh you do not know all the facts….we are smarter that you are…come on….Barry knows what he is doing……MW will give us the facts the same day he does the Babe…..never because they do not change the facts we know now…..and oh by the way Njack and BB and all you who say you can not judge clubhouse without being there….you can when it is so obvious on the filed…..just watch when he comes out to the mound…they all look the other way and kick the dirt….have being doing it all year.

  5. JayB - Sep 30, 2015 at 6:41 PM

    They do not respect him because he is clueless time and time again…just like the quotes say…..that was Zimm by the way if you ask me……you can let from the mannerisms in how it said it.

  6. janebeard - Sep 30, 2015 at 7:42 PM

    Well, fair enough. He can’t be the Manager of the Year last year and a goat THIS year, There is SOMETHING else going on, whether we ever hear it or not.

    I thought the “break int the house” quote was Zimm, too

    • tcostant - Sep 30, 2015 at 10:29 PM

      Werth’s comments during the playoffs last year, that MW was good because he stayed out of our way were most telling introspect.

    • theoneontheleft2 - Oct 1, 2015 at 3:27 PM

      Didn’t the same thing happen to Davey in ’12 and ’13?

  7. natsguy - Sep 30, 2015 at 7:46 PM

    Things were tense in that clubhouse and Papelbon was the straw the broke the camels back.

    • janebeard - Sep 30, 2015 at 8:40 PM

      That’s what I think too.

      • natsguy - Sep 30, 2015 at 9:04 PM

        Are you talking RZIM or JZIM?

  8. NatsNut - Sep 30, 2015 at 9:19 PM

    Ok, I think the guy is probably as good as gone. No need to keep piling on.

    • natsfan1a - Oct 1, 2015 at 7:00 AM

      Indeed. I also think he’s gone, but I feel for the guy.

      • NatsNut - Oct 1, 2015 at 10:42 AM

        Me too. He’s still a human being and I have no doubt that he wants/wanted to be the best.

  9. sunshinebobby - Sep 30, 2015 at 10:40 PM

    Williams on criticism: “All the facts aren’t out there”

    Yes, Matt, they most assuredly are:

    Your team, picked to win the World Series, is 80-78 with four games left.

    It’s over. It’s been over for awhile. You just are too dense to know it.

    • abqnatsfan - Sep 30, 2015 at 11:52 PM

      I agree. It is over. It is long over. For months now his “we have a game tomorrow” style answer to most every tough question has been made to look as bad as it is in the press. He keeps using that one note even after they are officially eliminated. And then, after today, he basically says the same thing again.

      Two months ago I thought he could learn from this season and be better next year. The last two months it has gotten clearer every day that won’t happen. It was clear after the labor day series if not before. And still he just plods on day to day. Demoralizing.

  10. snopes1 - Sep 30, 2015 at 11:53 PM

    I am very disappointed with the decline in intelligent commentary on Nats Insider. At one time, this was far above any other site for intelligent discussion of the Nats. But the management here seems to have no idea how to block the trolls like JayB (and others) who destroy intelligent discussion with their baiting and their relentless “you suck” commentary.

    Even the Post’s “Nationals Journal” has a button to allow you to ignore the user.

    But here, if you want to see the ever-dwindling number of intelligent commenters, you have to wade through this cesspool of taunting dumbness like JayB.

    It just isn’t worth it. Unless there are major changes to the software that lets me ignore the fools here, I’ll just read the main articles and then immediately go elsewhere.

    It’s a shame since I’ve been a Nats Insider fan since the very earliest days — even contributed money to get Mark off the ground.

    But the commenters here are now mostly fools and knaves. I get enough of that at work.

    Either find a way so that I can not have to hear jerks like JayB or tell your advertiser base they have one less loyal customer.

    • 3on2out - Oct 1, 2015 at 12:54 AM

      Snopes: an excellent post. Thank you!

    • boteman - Oct 1, 2015 at 1:32 AM

      If only there were a Hays Code on the Internet to protect us from painful thoughts.

    • natsfan1a - Oct 1, 2015 at 7:05 AM

      I disagree. I think that Mark has made real strides in blocking trolls. JayB isn’t a troll. He’s a passionate fan, and has been since the start. Yes, he airs his grievances freely. But do we really want to shut someone down for voicing his or her (negative) opinion? Heck, who knows? Maybe “homers” like me get on JayB’s nerves.

      • natsfan1a - Oct 1, 2015 at 7:05 AM

        But props for “knaves.” 🙂

      • natsfan1a - Oct 1, 2015 at 7:07 AM

        As well, imho, there are still plenty of intelligent commenters. That’s rather a broad brush.

      • National Anthem - Oct 1, 2015 at 8:28 AM

        True: it is a broad brush and there are probably still many intelligent commenters but how many of those commenters refuse to dive into the morass this board has become. Respectful discussion and argument often goes by the wayside when someone has a contrarian point of view. Who needs that? So, to the point made earlier, it’s far more rewarding to just read the articles and save the comments for other sites such as Federal Baseball.

      • NatsNut - Oct 1, 2015 at 10:44 AM

        Let’s just keep lifting up the thoughtful posters and we can bring this thing back around.

      • veejh - Oct 1, 2015 at 10:53 AM

        Agree. Grow some skin, or go where everyone agrees with each other all the time.

      • snopes1 - Oct 1, 2015 at 10:57 AM

        Veejh – Actually, what I think I’ll do is go somewhere else, a place where disagreement is not automatically elevated to incivility.

        I’ve got plenty thick skin, I’m a trial lawyer. But I don’t enjoy incivility in my free time.

        I’m out of here. Y’all have fun.

      • theoneontheleft2 - Oct 1, 2015 at 3:31 PM

        “the commenters here are now mostly fools and knaves…. find a way so that I can not have to hear jerks like JayB”. Something about incivility?

  11. JayB - Oct 1, 2015 at 8:30 AM

    +1 1a – It takes all types and I do get annoyed at the endless in rizzo we trust crowd as the ship is sinking in front of my eyes.

    The endless well how can you know if you are not there logic or the nuke response of do you think you could GM better is “tired” especially results are this bad and Barry and Boz and 90% of the national media are seeing and saying the same stuff.

    I post more when I see stupid managing and GM moves or I see dead baseball or choking…..seen a whole bunch of that over the years but this year is by far the worst case and for Snopes1 or even Njack to call that trolling after the 10 years we have all been doing this is a joke….if you do not like it fine but it is because it forces you to face the reality of the product today verse what should be with even just competent leadership in the clubhouse and in the front office.





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