Skip to content

Williams explains level approach

Aug 24, 2014, 12:28 PM EST

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

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.”

  1. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 24, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    Williams is still known to rattle some cages behind closed doors.

    I liked that fire last week when an obvious balk was missed.

  2. thomaswell - Aug 24, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    consumate professional. he expects his players to win because of their hard work. i like his approach to baseball and i assume life as well.

  3. ehay2k - Aug 25, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    I like that he doesn’t have a need to show how smart or tough he is. Davey was all to happy during pressers to let nuggets slip out that in hindsight, should have been kept in the clubhouse. By way of comparison to the “Hot Stuff” incident, take the matter of the scar on Fister’s neck this past Friday – DJ would have had a hard time keeping that to himself. MW told the press to ask Fister about and, and said Fister, would answer them, if he felt like it.

    That would be called empowerment, which I believe is a good way to describe how MW manages the Nats – he empowers them.





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter