Aug 24, 2014, 12:28 PM EDT
Perhaps it hasn’t quite translated to the Nationals fanbase, or perhaps it has, but from a media perspective, it has been quite rare this season to see manager Matt Williams show much of a reaction whether his team has won or lost. He does not get too high when the Nats are winning, and even during their lowest points this season, he has never been down on his team.
Lately the Nationals have enjoyed their best stretch of 2014, winning 11 of their last 12 games, yet each day it has been the same Matt Williams. There is nothing coincidental about that either, it represents a life philosophy of Williams’ and he’s strong-willed in maintaining it.
“I’ve experienced a lot in my time in baseball, certainly not as much as other folks, but I understand the importance of appreciating what you have and working hard to get what you want. That’s important to me and it’s important to those guys,” he said this week.
“My job is to guide them and to help them do [well]. So that’s gratifying, but I refuse to, I absolutely refuse to get too far one way or the other because it doesn’t work for me and it won’t work for our team.”
Williams’ ‘refusal’ to let his emotions take over after a win or a loss roots back to his time as a player. It’s what worked for him during a decorated, 17-year MLB career. It’s what helped him win a World Series with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001.
Williams has seen the formula for success at this level and doesn’t see any point in changing now.
“I can only speak for myself, but for me that’s my personality. I don’t know if I ever watched a homer because I was supposed to do that. That’s what I was supposed to do and if I did it, I did my job. If I didn’t, then I would worry about it because I didn’t do it. I don’t know if that’s odd or wrong or what, that’s just kind of the way I think.”
At 48-years-old and a longtime figure on Major League Baseball, that approach is a part of Williams’ DNA. It is a natural disposition for him, he says.
“I don’t think it’s forced. I’m of the mindset that if I have success or we have success doing something, then you’re supposed to. You’re supposed to. That’s why we’re here. If it’s the other way, that’s when things start rolling around. To have success at something, that’s the objective. You work really hard to get there and do that and you’re supposed to. That’s why we’re here. That’s not forced, in my brain anyway. I don’t have to turn that up because that’s a filter that’s always on.”
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