Oct 7, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
The 2015 season was a massive disappointment for the Nationals, who fell short of the playoffs and a World Series title they were expected to compete for. In attempt to make sense of what went wrong for them and how they can prevent it from happening again, we’ve put together a three-part series on the…
Oct 6, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
Few managers are successful and popular enough to remain with one franchise for a truly long-term stay. For every Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Bruce Bochy authoring Hall-of-Fame careers over multiple decades, there are far more John Russells, Trey Hillmans and Mike Quades coming and going with little fanfare and fewer victories on their ledgers.…
Oct 5, 2015, 10:40 PM EDT
CSN aired a special edition of SportsNet Central on Monday night, the day Matt Williams was fired as Nationals manager. Mark, Joe Orsulak and host Sebastian Salazar broke down the Nats’ decision to part ways with Williams just one year after he was named NL’s best manager. They gave reasons why they believe he was cut loose and…
Oct 5, 2015, 2:40 PM EDT
Early Monday afternoon, after he had made official one of the most difficult decisions of his entire tenure in Washington, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo addressed reporters over the phone to explain exactly why he had fired Matt Williams – the man he handpicked just two years prior – as manager. Rizzo, who met with…
Oct 5, 2015, 2:38 PM EDT
In searching for Matt Williams’ replacement, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo intends to place a significant emphasis on candidates with prior experience, particularly in the big leagues. “Experience is always helpful,” Rizzo said during a conference call Monday afternoon to announce Williams’ firing. “It always adds a layer of expertise to anybody’s resume. We feel…
Oct 5, 2015, 11:21 AM EDT
UPDATED: 11:57 a.m. Matt Williams, whose steady, never-wavering demeanor helped the injury-plagued Nationals stick together through difficult times to win a division title in his first season as a big-league manager, was fired Monday because he wasn’t able to do the same in his second season in Washington. The Nationals’ front office, headlined by general…
Oct 5, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
NEW YORK — Take the Nationals’ just-completed season on several individual merits, and the unknowing observer might well have assumed this team had cruised into the playoffs. Bryce Harper posting historic numbers that made him a potentially unanimous MVP choice? Max Scherzer throwing two no-hitters, plus a 16-strikeout 1-hitter, with a 276-to-34 strikeout-to-walk ratio that…
Oct 4, 2015, 3:02 PM EDT
NEW YORK — Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said he plans to meet Monday with top club officials and doesn’t expect to waste any time determining the fates of manager Matt Williams, his coaching staff and other front office personnel. “We’re going to evaluate each aspect of the organization,” Rizzo said Sunday afternoon prior to…
Oct 3, 2015, 12:07 PM EDT
NEW YORK — In the wake of a report he’ll be fired at season’s end, Nationals manager Matt Williams said he has not yet been informed by club officials of any change in his status and that he intends to continue performing his job through this weekend’s final series before learning his fate. “Nobody’s spoken…
Sep 30, 2015, 6:18 PM EDT
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…
Sep 29, 2015, 12:18 PM EDT
With the team he constructed fresh off being eliminated from playoff contention, with his manager under fire and his team in the national spotlight for a public brawl featuring the best player in baseball, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo took the podium after Monday’s game to a barrage of camera flashes, ready to answer as…
Sep 29, 2015, 6:06 AM EDT
The Nationals took swift action Monday to address Jonathan Papelbon’s short-term future with the organization, suspending the volatile closer for the remainder of the season after his dugout attack on Bryce Harper the previous afternoon. The organization’s long-term plan for Papelbon, though, remains quite murky. Papelbon is under contract for another season; that was among…
Sep 28, 2015, 4:25 PM EDT
Matt Williams admitted fault for not recognizing the severity of Sunday’s dugout fracas between Jonathan Papelbon and Bryce Harper and for letting his now-suspended closer re-take the mound after the incident. “I take responsibility for that,” Williams said Monday afternoon. “I could have gotten more information in that regard. I could have gotten more specifics…
Sep 28, 2015, 1:19 AM EDT
Had Sunday afternoon’s dugout fracas at Nationals Park been a purely isolated incident, it might be easy to shrug it off as one of those unfortunate things that happens every once in awhile in sports. Teammates get into a heated argument, one goes after the other, everybody else rushes in to break it up. This…
Sep 25, 2015, 11:40 PM EDT
Jordan Zimmermann and Matt Williams are many things, but sentimental men they most certainly are not. Both the Nationals right-hander and his manager care too much about the competition at hand to get caught up in emotions. So the fact neither made much of the manner in which Zimmermann departed Friday night’s 8-2 loss to…
Sep 24, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT
Bryce Harper stood at the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning Wednesday night, his team trailing by a run in a game it simply had to win to keep its slim postseason hopes alive. There has been no more-feared hitter in the game this season than the 22-year-old slugger, the presumptive NL MVP…
Sep 19, 2015, 8:47 PM EDT
The chant began after Bryce Harper had rounded the bases in he bottom of the seventh, his 41st homer of the season having already landed in the second deck down the right-field to give the Nationals a 5-2 lead over the Marlins they would not relinquish. “M-V-P! M-V-P! M-V-P!” With two weeks remaining in the…
Sep 19, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT
The meeting was brief, tense and essentially spoke volumes of what Max Scherzer is all about. In the seventh inning of a 2-2 game with two outs and a man on second base, Nationals manager Matt Williams made a visit to the mound — not so much to remove his ace, but more so to see…
Sep 17, 2015, 12:06 AM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Bryce Harper is as much a student of the game as anybody is these days, so he understands and appreciates what he accomplished here Wednesday night. Even if he didn’t much want to talk about personal accomplishments. “We got  more games left,” he said. “So I’ll answer that at the end of…
Sep 15, 2015, 11:29 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Bryce Harper offered full-throated support for Matt Williams on Tuesday night, crediting the Nationals manager for helping him through an MVP-worthy season and stumping for his return in 2016. “Truly, I love him as a manager,” Harper said following the Nationals’ 4-0 victory over the Phillies. “Flat-out, I absolutely do. And if I…
Sep 14, 2015, 7:38 AM EDT
Amazing how much can change in just one week. Only seven days ago, the Nationals were riding some positive momentum, heading into their critical series against the Mets a manageable 4 games back, with a chance to thrust themselves right back into the NL East race. That, of course, didn’t happen. After a disastrous sweep…
Sep 12, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
The Nationals lost a close ballgame Friday night, giving up the winning run in the seventh inning. Really, who could have seen that coming? It’s a broken record now, but one the Nationals can’t shut off. They just keep going around and around in circles, making the same mistakes, losing in the same fashion every…
Sep 10, 2015, 12:41 AM EDT
When the obituaries for the 2015 Washington Nationals are written a few weeks from now — yes, some have already published them, but they’re not officially done yet, they’re just in hospice care — they will try to determine the cause of death. Injuries to their lineup? Underwhelming performances from their star-studded rotation? A bullpen…
Sep 9, 2015, 6:19 PM EDT
Matt Williams has heard the fervor building over the last few weeks. He knows the criticism being levied at him. But he knows he can’t get caught up in any of that. “Well, it’s never any fun. I can tell you that,” the beleaguered Nationals manager said Wednesday afternoon. “But if I know anything about…
Sep 9, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT
Matt Williams doesn’t much like talking about big-picture stuff. You’ve repeatedly heard the second-year manager asked about the state of his Nationals this summer, and you’ve repeatedly heard him refuse to take the bait. But then comes a game like Tuesday night — a game that defied logic given the manner in which the Nationals’…
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
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