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Report: Williams returning to D’backs as third base coach

Nov 10, 2015, 5:06 PM EDT

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Five weeks after he was fired by the Nationals, Matt Williams is returning to a big-league dugout, and returning to a familiar and comfortable locale.

Williams has accepted an offer to serve as the Diamondbacks’ third base coach, according to Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, returning to the same position he held before coming to Washington two years ago.

The 49-year-old didn’t need to return to work immediately next season; he was already under contract with the Nationals for 2016 with a $1 million salary. But the Diamondbacks had an opening in his old role once Andy Green was hired as the Padres’ new manager and quickly offered it back to the former Arizona infielder, coach and broadcaster.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, who worked as the Diamondbacks’ scouting director while Williams was still playing there, hired him as Washington’s fifth manager in Oct. 2013. Williams, who had only minimal managerial experience in the Arizona Fall League and an interim stint at Class AA, wound up guiding the Nationals to a 96-win season and a division title, earning NL Manager of the Year honors.

The Nationals picked up Williams’ 2016 option at the start of spring training but wound up eating that money when they fired him the day after a disappointing 83-79 season ended. Williams has not spoken publicly since the firing.

Though he’s back working for another NL club, Williams won’t be reunited with the Nationals for some time. The Diamondbacks aren’t scheduled to play the Nats until Aug. 1-3 in Phoenix and don’t make their lone 2016 trip to D.C. until Sept. 26-29.

  1. Sonny G 10 - Nov 10, 2015 at 6:01 PM

    I’m both sad and happy to see Matt being re-employed in the major leagues. Happy he’s landed on his feet but sad that he had to go through being fired as our manager. I wonder if he has any ill feelings toward the Nats.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Nov 10, 2015 at 8:09 PM

      I don’t think you have to wonder.

    • shawndc04 - Nov 11, 2015 at 9:28 AM

      I don’t think that Matt and Jayson Werth will be having drinks together.

  2. janebeard - Nov 10, 2015 at 6:41 PM

    I’m glad he landed somewhere. I know that this has been a hard transition — how could it NOT be? But if anyone can handle it with grace, it’s Matt Williams. I wish him all the best. I really do!

  3. natsfan1a - Nov 10, 2015 at 7:21 PM

    Good. I’m happy for him.

  4. ehay2k - Nov 10, 2015 at 10:10 PM

    I hope he gets simply a tepid response, not a cold or nasty one, when he comes to DC. No need to boo him.

    • homeparkdc - Nov 11, 2015 at 1:44 AM

      Absolutely correct. Dusty Baker and Matt Williams are close, so there should be some good PR prior to the teams’ meeting in the second half. Of course, when the Nats have a winning first half [yes, go Nats!] the fans can be magnanimous about Williams and 2015.

  5. Mrsb loves the Nats - Nov 11, 2015 at 9:42 AM

    Good for him. Good Luck Matt.

    • senators5 - Nov 11, 2015 at 12:27 PM

      Agreed. MW is a good BB man, he just got caught up into Murphy’s Law “anything that can go wrong did go wrong for him.” I strongly believe he will get another shot in a couple of years probably where he is now after he improves his “people” skills.

  6. JayB - Nov 11, 2015 at 1:11 PM

    It was not his people skills as much as his ridged thinking…that does not tend to get better with time.

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