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The Baseball Show: Williams for Manager of the Year?

Aug 29, 2014, 2:02 PM EST

Photo by The Associated Press Photo by The Associated Press

This week’s episode of ‘The Baseball Show’ covered a lot of subjects including the Nationals’ recent three-game skid, Doug Fister’s struggles this past week and whether Matt Williams deserves any consideration for NL Manager of the Year.

In this first clip, Mark talks with Joe Orsulak and host Jill Sorenson about the Nationals’ sweep up in Philly. They discuss whether the three-game losing streak is a concern or just a blip on the radar for a team that is still among the best in baseball.

Check it out here:

Up next is a look at Denard Span and how valuable he has been for the Nats this season:

This third clip goes into Williams’ chances to win NL Manager of the Year. Does he have a shot?

And finally, here is a discussion about Fister’s off week:

  1. bisonaudit - Aug 29, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    Most managers just muck things up by making too many decisions. I like Matt’s minimalist approach. He who manages least manages best.

    http://grantland.com/the-triangle/2014-mlb-managerial-meddling-index/

    • Section 222 - Aug 29, 2014 at 2:44 PM

      This is a fascinating article and study. And the interactivity is fascinating. I’d like to see MW do more hit and runs and use a LOOGY or ROOGY more, but I’m glad he’s near the bottom in sac bunts and IBBs. Manager challenges is the only category I’d quibble with. Hard to tell what being near the top or bottom means — being smart about using the challenge, forgoing a useful strategic weapon, or simple luck (since I assume most managers decide whether to challenge based on the assessment made by their video review guys).

      Thanks for posting.

    • Hiram Hover - Aug 29, 2014 at 3:26 PM

      Thanks – agree that article is interesting stuff.

      Tha author defines those things as “meddling,” which suggests they have a negative impact. There’s no support for that in the article, tho. (In fact, if you click thru to the data table, there’s a column that isn’t include in the actual story, for team winning %, which leads me to think he looked for a correlation bwn meddling and winning and didnt find one. Even if he could find one, there would be a question of which way the causation, if any, actually runs.)

      • Hiram Hover - Aug 29, 2014 at 3:47 PM

        In the interest of accuracy–I see that he actually does claim a “weak correlation” bwn not meddling and winning, down towards the bottom. So it’s there, but not something he gives much prominence or importance to.

        There is still the question of which way the arrow runs. I also wonder if you could run it vs something other than just winning %–like say, pythagorean or some other measure of expected W-L, or against some measure of “on the bubble” teams.

        Suggesting is the easy part, I know….

    • NatsLady - Aug 29, 2014 at 4:00 PM

      Thanks a lot for the link. Much to chew on in that article. You can combine it with replay-review and ejections, two other managerial on-field actions.

  2. David Proctor - Aug 29, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    Dear God, no. I defend MW a lot and think he has done a good job. But MOTY?

    No.

    • jd - Aug 29, 2014 at 2:14 PM

      Sorry, I am not yet ready to discuss post season individual awards. Let’s let everyone bring a full body of work to the table and will talk about this in December.

      • David Proctor - Aug 29, 2014 at 2:15 PM

        They vote on this before the postseason so we almost have a full body of work

  3. Section 222 - Aug 29, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    I find it interesting that Mike Redmond seems to lead in the discussion of MOTY a lot because the Marlins lost Jose Fernandez and the team is still in the WC race, kind of, while MW usually isn’t mentioned even though the Nats have had some horrendous injury issues and they are poised to win the division going away. Sure, we had a lot more talent to work with, but Zim’s, Harper’s, and Ramos’s injuries could have completely undermined the season.

  4. laddieblahblah - Aug 29, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    He would get my vote. I have never seen a club as close-knit as this one, ever. That is a function, in large part, of his leadership ability. I never tire of emphasizing the psychological aspects of the game, and a club house bereft of conflict and animated by team cohesion is a field manager’s job no. 1.

    Matt set out in ST to remake the club to emphasize smart, aggressive base-running and doing the little things to win the close games. At first, the team botched everything. But slowly and surely the transformation has taken place. I don’t care that much about the x’s and o’s, but he has also done a good job managing the pen. He handled the recent situation with Soriano about as well as anyone could have.

    Then we can look back at where the Nats were at this time, last year, and where they are now, with most of the same players, but without Ryan Zimmerman, who is still one of the team’s premier hitters.

    They may very well finish with the best record in the league. Winning and losing is the ultimate yardstick, and Matt can measure up, on that score, with any other manager in the NL. And don’t talk about injuries – the Nats have had more than their share, and right out of the box, too.

    • masterfishkeeper - Aug 29, 2014 at 4:29 PM

      Just curious: as a fan, how can you be sure the team is close-knit?

  5. Danny - Aug 29, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    No way. Not even a hater

  6. therealjohnc - Aug 29, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    Heh. I vote the subtitle of this post as “Trolling the H8TRZ”

    because we all know that Williams has single-handedly kept the Nats from clinching the division by now

  7. nats106 - Aug 29, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    He’s handled this team extremely well and is certainly deserving of consideration. I will reserve my “final answer” for exactly one month. I agree with the opinion of the bisonaudit (where did you get that name anyway?) Sometimes less is more. Don’t overthink and just win baby and any other clichĂ© I can think of that supports minimalist thinking.

    Clearly the heavy thinking is left to the NI posters, including myself , who at any varying stage would bench Denard, trade Jordan Zimmermann, move Harper to RF, sit Werth when MW plays him, leave Strasburg off any post season roster,. call up Tyler Moore, bench Adan LaRoche, etc etc.

    Wait, to clarify, I would never bench Denard, but the other ideas……

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