An urgent request from Nats fans to Mike Rizzo & the Lerners: Fire Matt Williams Now!

We need to see this headline

Matt Williams Fired*

here:

*That could be the headline very soon.

To say that the Nats’ season has been a disappointment would be an understatement. A while back we wrote a post (There’s always a silver lining!) that casually referenced this idea.

But first, let’s review the series with the Mets as the results illustrate almost perfectly why a new manager is needed. In each game Matt Williams made a my checklist says do X decision instead of reacting to the game situation. Admittedly, one or more of the players made mistakes. But the main job of the manager is very simple – make sound in-game decisions. Williams has a history of not being able to do that.

But we now have to get serious about the Nats, and many times changes begin near the top.  So here goes the list of reasons to fire him and a list of reasons to keep him. And we will update both of these lists based on your comments and feedback.

Let’s start with the reasons to keep him. And reasons 5-7 are not serious. But a list with just not his fault items is, well, cruel (even if true).

  1. The injuries aren’t his fault.
  2. Not all of the BP failures are his fault.
  3. Players not executing basic plays aren’t his fault
  4. Personnel in his bullpen are not his fault (we have that in Rizzo’s column)
  5. He gives great token answers in press conferences (yea, I am being sarcastic here).
  6. He was the MOY last year. He can’t be that bad.
  7. Mike Rizzo likes him.

Now a short list of the reasons he has to go.

  1. Any shot to salvage the season needs a shake-up. With the exception of the Marlins making their GM the manager, such shake-ups quite often result in winning streaks.
  2. You have two clearly quantified candidates who know the team really well and could start tonight:
    1. Randy Knorr
    2. Ray Knight
  3. It sends a message to the team and the fans that you care as much as we do.
  4. It seems pretty clear that that a key player for the future of the Nats is not a big fan of Williams. Not saying he would leave when he is a FA because of MW, but he clearly won’t stay because of him.
  5. Questionable in-game strategy. He manages by checklists it would seem. And yes, he has changed his checklist lately (doing more lefty/righty matchups). But he seems to not adapt to what is going on in the game to decide which checklist to use. Here is a very rough initial list of recent decisions he has made that were simply indefensible.
    1. Pulling Strasburg who had struck out Cespedes twice so Storen who gave up a double to Cespedes yesterday could pitch to him. The outcome: Cespedes goes yard with a man on. Two runs and the Nats are now losing.
    2. Bunting Rendon with no outs, a runner on first in the bottom of the 9th on Sept 8?  and keep the bunt “on” in a 3-1 count?  Are you kidding me?  Really dumb move, especially considering that even if it works, the Mets simply walk Harper. And only 5 players in all of MLB have GIDP’ed more times than Yunel, both in terms of absolute number of GIDPs and percentage of PAs with an opportunity to GIDP.
    3. He also once had Dan Uggla bunt and he was less comfortable than Rendon. Was he expecting the “lucky” result from Game 3 last year when Ramos bunted and Bumgarner threw the ball away?  Players who are asked to bunt must be comfortable doing it.  Case in point is that some of the Nats pitchers at times haven’t looked comfortable bunting, and hence, not successful.
    4. Not PHing for Scherzer in the 5th on Sept 7 when he was clearly gassed and you had 2 runners in scoring position standing on 3rd and 2nd.
    5. Letting Storen face CarGo with the bases loaded on August 7th when everyone could see he was not the Storen we remember from the beginning of the season, and he has lousy splits against lefties, and Rivero was ready.
    6. As sec112 commented, giving Escobar a green light on 3-0 with the bases loaded when the pitcher was having trouble throwing strikes. He hits into a DP – something he does a lot as mentioned above.
  6. He angered the Baseball Gods by failing to fulfill his promise to do a Babe Ruth HR trot :-(.

And that is just recent history. Don’t want to think about the playoffs last year.

We are not alone in suggesting this could happen:

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  • senators69

    Morning to all!
    Checking the TalkNats site, I see many new posters.
    Congrats to Steve, Zmunch, and all the other story writers and posters who, in a short time, have made this site the best forum for intelligent, civil discussion of the Nats.

    • zmunchkin

      Thx for the kind words. We look forward to a long run for this site and hope to make it even better.

      But at the same time, the folks making the comments have to get a lot of the credit too!

  • Also, Reverendp and Dueces – if the splits are like that – how does NO ONE on the staff not say something to MW. Granted, we will never know, but someone has to pull hit coat tail and let him know – ‘Look I know you want to give Drew another chance but lets not play that game tonight.’

    • Ghost of Steve M.

      MW changed to what the national media was clamoring for. Brian Kenney tore MW apart on Monday after the Labor Day loss.

      No matter bunting Rendon on Tuesday, the bullpen will do to MW what the bullpen in Detroit did to Dombrowski. Rizzo won’t go down for not replacing the Soriano *spot* or the Clippard spot or even the Stammen spot. Roark didn’t work out, Janssen didn’t work, Barrett didn’t work out, Treinen didn’t work out, and Drew Storen who had a great April thru July 30th just fell apart before our eyes, but come on, we all knew it was coming. August 7th and August 9th were bad blips that really cost the Nats dearly, but once the Sept 7-9th series were called by all the local beat writers to be like the PLAYOFFS, did you expect Storen to handle the pressure? Tuesday was like Game 5 of 2012 and yesterday was like Game 2 of 2014. The names were different and instead of Pablo Sandoval it was Yoenis Cespedes and instead of Pete Kozma it was Daniel Murphy on Tuesday.

      Rizzo has to take partial blame in personnel decisions here. His only upgrade was Jonathan Papelbon when he could have and should have brought in more help for the bullpen and if he had any doubts on Span could have and should have brought in a corner outfielder and moved Bryce to CF.

      MW will take the fall for this as somebody has to but Storen and Janssen couldn’t do their jobs and MW will lose his job because of that.

      • I agree with what you said for the most part but the part about clamoring to National Media and his critics kinda ticks me off…. Each case is different. You have to manage it like its a separate deal/entity.

        But this is why I dont think that MW will be let go. For Rizzo to do that, he also has to admit his own faults and mistakes by having a line up so righty heavy, not replacing the pieces in the BP and not demanding that more of the previous managers staff not be turned over.

        He can absolutely fault MW for his in-game decisions (always a step late to me). To an extent, also fault him for Maxx and his drop off. His porous BP management isnt helped by having a porous BP.

        But this is why i say that MW wont be fired. This was a collective fail by many.

      • zmunchkin

        The issue of Rizzo and his decisions perhaps deserves a post (or more) this winter that focusses on his decisions.

        WRT the trade deadline and only getting Paps, maybe Dcsnakehead (11:19 pm last night, and perhaps a new commenter here) is spot on with his comment. Or maybe the prices were simply way too high.

        And I also don’t want to overlook the good decisions – leading into this year. Escobar, Ross, Turner, Robinson, keeping Espi, and yes, even Uggla.

        And to the topic of the BP blowing up, all these guys had track records to suggest things would work. And it seems to me that it is reasonable to think that they reason that they did not get in synch and perform better is because of how they were used/mis-used. That is something that can never be answered – who is more responsible – Rizzo or Williams.

        Rizzo has a reasonably long and good track record for his job; Williams does not.

        • Z- I dont think its an either/or situation here. I think the failures of the make up of the BP are on Rizzo and the poor BP management is on MW.

          • Ghost of Steve M.

            Well said. The acquisition of the personnel is on Rizzo and the management of the personnel is on MW.

            I still feel like the BP was so poor that every poor decision going back to not pinch hitting for Scherzer in the 5th with runners on 3rd and 2nd was due to MWs no confidence in the bullpen.

            • I get why he doesn’t have faith in them. I get it.

              BP just had a stretch where they were damn near impossible to get a hit. Then, lately, everyone wants to hand out runs like Oprah hands out cars.

              I get it. But for me, with Rizzo not doing more at EITHER trade deadline hurt like crap, especially given that the Nats were definitely still in it. Sure they have been less than good after the ASB, which I directly related to Max like how he goes the Nats go, but more should have been done.

          • jd

            Mrs. B.

            I think the makeup of the bullpen in theory wasn’t that bad. I think Rizzo had a right to expect Treinen and Barrett with their stuff to take a step forward for Stammen to be Stammen and for Jansen and Thornton to be reliable bridges. The fact that non of it worked is really bad luck. It’s nice to want Chapman or Kimbrel but what do you do if the other guys want Giolito and Turner in return?

          • zmunchkin

            Well said jd. And the issue here is that we can see what MW does and what the results are – it is the nature of his job. We don’t see what Rizzo tried to do. It is all well and good to talk about who Rizzo should have gotten (Benoit and Chapman). But given that neither of them was traded suggests that the price was too high.

            Likewise Rizzos’ BP plans were reasonable. They did not work out. And I put that more on MW – he had a staff of experienced MLB pitchers and it did not work. It is his job to make it work. And he failed. And he has a long history of making such bad decisions (e.g., bringing in Barrett last October in a high-profile situation as a rookie).

            Bottom line: Rizzo has a good track record; MW does not.

      • jd

        Ghost,

        You make good points but to be fair when you judge someone on non moves you need to understand that it takes 2 to tango. I think teams knew the Nats needed bullpen help and they held out for prospects Rizzo did not want to sacrifice.

        I also think that while most of the criticism thrown Storen’s way is warranted he would not have imploded if they hadn’t gotten Paplebon but instead acquired 2 or 3 competent set up pieces.

        • ‘I also think that while most of the criticism thrown Storen’s way is warranted he would not have imploded if they hadn’t gotten Paplebon but instead acquired 2 or 3 competent set up pieces.’

          That makes it even WORST… to me at least. Like Dude grow up. I admit I felt bad for Drew when they got Paps but hell, we needed BP help desperately and if getting another closer was the answer, that is good. That allows us having 2 closers for the 8th and 9th and if your starter can go 6 then BT/Rivero or Jansen/Thornton combos could work.

          He should have used it as motivation to get up and be better, not succumb to him not getting his way.

        • Which two or three competent set up relievers did we see picked up by teams other than the Nats at the deadline? Clippard, of course. But who else? The point being that a GM acquiring two or three competent set up guys from other teams mid-season is not as easy as going to 7-11 and getting a couple of chili dogs when everywhere else is closed.

    • jd

      Mrs. B,

      Spot on. When the Red Sox played the Mets a couple of weeks ago, in the Friday night game, the Sox took a 3 run lead in the top of the 10th and Tazawa was in the process of trying to give it back. With 2 outs and the bases loaded (Sox up by 2) the Red Sox brought in lefty Breslow to face Cespedes because Cespedes stinks against lefties and Breslow stuck him out.

      Your question is very telling. How does MW not know this? this is 2015, you don’t need to have a thick book to go by, the data is available in an instant, every team has a geek squad compiling numbers. You always have to know which move has the best chance of succeeding.

      It’s mind boggling.

  • Im sticking by my guns. I don’t think MW will be fired. I think that the Lerners and Rizzo will say sure he didn’t help but it wasn’t all on him. In a season where virtually everything went wrong, his porous in game mgmt/bp management and people not performing didnt help him.

    With that said – I wouldnt be surprised if members of his staff – McCatty and Weidemheir – notably are gone.

    • jd

      I used to think that. I think the mistakes and failures are so obvious and out for everyone to see that Rizzo may need to sacrifice MW to reduce the heat on himself. I don’t believe the Lerners are pleased with how their team (on which they spent $165 mil this year) performed. One more year like this will put the bulls eye squarely on Rizzo.

  • Section 222

    To worn out to comment at length, but I heard that MW in his postgame presser said that he brought in Storen because you “gotta get Drew in for the righty-right matchup.” Leaving aside that Stras is also RH, I just wanted to note the following stats for Cespedes this year:

    vs. RHP – 455 PA .319/.345/.582
    vs. LHP – 136 PA .220/.287/.431
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=cespeyo01&year=2015&t=b

    That is not a misprint my friends. I think I’m going to throw up.

    • zmunchkin

      Wow! And you’d think MW should know that.

    • It’s not MW’s fault that this mistake was made. How was he supposed to know this? Rizzo traded away his clipboard!

  • One more thing! I know the Babe Ruth thing is there as a joke, but I actually think his failure to do that is indicative of a serious problem, which is an inability to lighten things up (something Madden is famous for). This team clearly could have benefitted from some levity. Winning is the best morale booster, but I think some evidence of a sense of humor (didn’t have to be the Ruth trot, but he did make the promise) could have been helpful.

    • zmunchkin

      I can’t speak for others, but IMO the Babe Ruth Trot issue is also an indication (and a nice way to say) that he can’t really be trusted. If he can’t keep a simple promise like that . . . . . .

    • Intangiball…a good back about the importance of leadership and team chemistry to putting together a successful organization or baseball team…sadly it can’t be measured, but you know it when you see it. Werth and Zimmerman for instance provide intangibles in a positive way to help the clubhouse atmosphere and motivation.
      The game is 90% physical but the other half is mental

      • Reverendp

        I will read the sample off ibooks later. Thanks for the heads up.

        That said I wonder just how positive Werth and Zim’s intangibles are? That has long been the narrative but is it true?

  • I am philosophically uncomfortable with the whole “blame the manager” thing. Every team’s fans complains bitterly about the manager when they lose – yes even Giants and Cardinals and O’s fans. And especially Mets fans. There are indisputably bad decisions, like not taking the bunt off when Rendon got to 3-1, or letting Escobar swing 3-0 a couple weeks ago (missing from your list, but a terrible decision in my view). And there are judgment calls like most of the list here and many of the things Williams haters complain about, where not infrequently they complain about him doing exactly what they said he should do in some earlier situation (to be clear, I would NOT have pitched Storen today – I would have used Ross or Fister or Roark first -it almost seemed like he was flipping the fans the finger by bringing him in after yesterday’s disaster). It’s easier to blame the manager than luck, or player performance (ours or the opponents’), or roster construction.

    I don’t blame MW for this season. I blame injuries and player declines exceeding player growth. I don’t blame Rizzo for the bullpen because I’ve come to the conclusion that bullpen performance has a very high degree of randomness to it. Lousy relievers become unhittable and shutdown closers become mediocre often with little explanation. A consistent run like Clippard’s or Rivera’s is very rare. The Nats just got unlucky with every reliever having an off year. I’d bet half these guys go on to have huge years at some point in their career. Just not this year.

    All that said, I still think it would be best to move on from Matt Williams. This year was a huge disappointment and there will need to be a way to start next year with a positive outlook, which will be hard to do if there is a lot of focus on whether the manager should have been fired or not. The players need some certainty (by the way – if there were convincing evidence that the players are unhappy with him, that would also be meaningful to me – but I’m not aware of any solid evidence).

    I don’t know why some people here are big Randy Knorr fans, just as I’ve never understood why people around here are so crazy about Jordan Zimmerman and so luke warm about Strasburg when I’d bet my mortgage that Strasburg’s next 5 years are head and shoulders above JZs next 5 – but that’s an argument for another day. I would not hire Knorr – the idea would be to get away from inexperience. I would also stay away from Ray Knight who is folksy fun (for some people) but has managed before and was truly terrible in pretty much every aspect of the job (which is why he hasn’t been a candidate for a job in quite a while).

    I don’t have a suggestion now – I’ll think on it – but I think it’s time (after the season of course) to move on.

    • zmunchkin

      Your point about the green light to Escobar added as item 5F. So many bad decisions that one just got lost in haystack with all the rest of them.

  • ManassasNatsFan

    None of the reporters are reporting on Twitter talk about not doing any reporting.

  • Faith. Faith is an island in the setting sun.
    But proof is the bottom line for everyone.

  • ManassasNatsFan

    Remember last night MW said he still had confidence in Storen and I said NW might be fooling himself. I said it last night I had no confidence in him.

  • ManassasNatsFan

    Since Palpelbon arrived Storen’s ERA 6.75.

    Is that reason enough not to use him?

    I guess I must be in the minority as I knew that Cespedes had Storen’s number and could not fathom a reason why anyone would think Storen would pitch him better than Strasburg would.

  • Dcsnakehead

    Regarding the trade deadline. Maybe Rizzo looked at the team he had and made a smart bet that this group didn’t have what it took for a deep post season run. If that’s the case you don’t mortgage the future so you can eck out 90 wins. The whole lynch pin of this team was supposed to be starting pitching. At the deadline Strasburg is hurt, Fister has imploded and Jzim isn’t his 2014 self. Match thst with an offense that has numerous in injuries and I think it’s reasonable to no go all in with the deadline trades.

    Moving forward you have to restructure for 2017/2018 with Bryce as the center point. If we compete during a rebuilding year great but there isn’t an obvious move or two to address the teams needs next year.

    • Ghost of Steve M.

      But many teams that sneak into the playoffs gel and go on a run. You never know.

  • Well, the off day will help the Nats and their fans. Give everyone a chance to go back to their respective corners. Hopefully we can enjoy these last 23 games.

  • Matt Williams is definitely Dead Manager Walking right now, but his execution date won’t be until after the season is over. A miracle like the Mets collapsing and letting the Nats sneak into the playoffs might stay his execution, but who really expects that to happen?

    It doesn’t matter that MW is “Rizzo’s guy” because the Lerners are going to demand changes in the on-field management of the team, and they won’t be satisfied with just the ritual sacrifice of a coach or two. I would expect that the Lerners instruct Rizzo to hire a manager WITH PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE and then let the new manager decide which coaches stay and which new ones get brought in. The Lerners still trust Rizzo, and there is no way they will fire him. But their modus operandi has always been “trust, but verify” so they will have ultimate decision power over whatever new manager Rizzo wants to hire. That’s how they roll.

  • senators69

    This sort of heartache and season disappointment comes with the territory of being a contender. Just ask RedSox fans.

    It’s bad if our team really sucks, because then, we can chalk it up to “rebuild” or “build”

    But when you’re a contender — and I firmly believe the Nats would have contended better if even one negative element went better (ex: fewer injuries, or better BP, etc) — then contending comes with heartache for every team except one — the ultimate winner.

    Remember, going into the season, the Nats had the best odds to win the WS, however, their probability to win the WS was something like 17%!!

    Baseball may be the most painful of sports in this way.

  • adcwonk

    Absolutely 30 pitches yesterday. So why would bring him in

    He threw 22 yesterday. That’s not outlandish. Just last week (Sept 1) he threw 19 pitches against the Cards (allowing a hit, a walk, and 2 runs), then came back the next night against the Cards and struck out the side.

    The point being that Drew proved pretty recently that a bad outing one night doesn’t necessarily translate into a bad outing the very next night.

    BTW, similarly, earlier in the season (July against the Orioles) he threw 23 pitches, then came back the next day with two outs in the ninth in a one run game (Scherzer had just given up a HR). Storen came in and struck out Chris Davis on four pitches for the save.

    • Unless yesterday you show that you have command and control issues and the guy you faced yesterday beat you… and then you have him come out again and face that very same batter who beat him yet again.

      Again, Drew shouldn’t have come out after clearly laboring yesterday.

      • adcwonk

        Drew shouldn’t have come out after clearly laboring yesterday.

        He labored last Tuesday, and struck out the side — against the Cards — last Wednesday. That’s all I’m saying.

        • Ghost of Steve M.

          There you go.

        • This is where just relying on stats hurts. The Cards game he was handcuffed by porous defense. The day before yesterday Drew couldn’t find the SZ and didn’t throw any strikes or quality strikes.

          So MW sends him out there again to face the same guy that rocked him the night before. Again, Drew shouldn’t have been sent out there.

          I know you like to think you are throwing stats and facts around but lets not be selective.

          • Reverendp

            Cespedes splits (courtesy of 222)

            vs. RHP – 455 PA .319/.345/.582
            vs. LHP – 136 PA .220/.287/.431

            So theoretically Thornton was a better choice if MW insisted on removing Stras, even though he had struck him out the two previous at bats. Even MW alluded to the fact that bringing in Storen was redemptive. It definately had the stench of inevitable failure.

            • Well, I am on record as saying I wanted SS to finish the inning – i mean he made Cespedes look silly the times before that.

              I also said that if he is removed, put Thornton in there.

              But I digress.

  • senators69

    I could not see if someone else mentioned this, but Phil Wood on his post-game show responded to a caller request to speculate on potential new managers for the Nats. Phil did NOT intimate that MW would be fired; however he did respond to the caller as follows:

    * IF the Nats were looking for a new manager, they should look inside the organization first otherwise they’d be starting over again.

    * Phil thought Randy Knorr would be the first choice since he knows the personnel, has good rapport with the players, and in fact was the runner-up when MW was hired.

    * Phil thought he’d handle the pitchers well. Phil said that a key distinguishing mark of the really good managers is their ability to handle the pitchers.

    • ManassasNatsFan

      He followed and said catchers are often the better managers.

      Said the candidate from outside the organization that would be best was Ron Gardenhire.

  • AbbeFaria

    I wonder if Storen is sucking on purpose.

    • ManassasNatsFan

      I doubt that, as he has to much money invested.

      But he has lost focus it aooears

  • I will say it again. I don’t think Matt Williams will be fired this off-season.

  • So, any chance the Nats trade for Chapman this off season. Rizzo has his work cut out for him.

    • ManassasNatsFan

      Rizzo didn’t want him earlier.

  • AbbeFaria

    Wow. I didn’t expect to see Storen again, wow.

    • Ghost of Steve M.

      That was a shocker. What he did, not shocking.

    • I’m still trying to figure out how he was available after pitching 25/30 pitches yesterday.

      • ManassasNatsFan

        MW’s not engaged with the game.

  • ManassasNatsFan

    If I was Learner, I would tell Rizzo he has midnight to fire MW or I (as Learner will fire Rizzo and hire someone to fire MW.)

    MW did nothing to help the team at the deadline.

  • Steady Eddie

    On the way back from the game and just got to read your post.

    No need to change a word you wrote except the expression in “has to go” point 5C is “case in point”.

    • zmunchkin

      Fixed. Thx!

  • nats128

    I feel bad for MW. He deserved better. The bullpen was about as bad as the days in 2008 when Gascanrahan was the anchor. The injuries were devastating. When you say Wilson Ramos and Ian Desmond were your only 2 healthy players you know you’re in trouble.

    • adcwonk

      Well put. He got dealt a pretty bad hand. And the BP was pitching well going into the series with the Mets (see my post below at 10:31). But the BP imploded just in time for the Mets, and, on top of that MW doesn’t seem to have played those bad cards very well, either.

      • Ghost of Steve M.

        I’m glad there is some balance of the comments.

        I want MW to leave with some dignity and finish the season. He got dealt a lousy hand and he held it together for 4 months and then the bullpen fully imploded on him.

        Finish strong.

        • adcwonk

          he held it together for 4 months

          Indeed he did. For large chunks of the season we were missing RZ, Rendon, and Werth at the same time, and Span for a good part of that time, too.

          And Strasburg’s injuries and inconsistencies earlier in the season.

          And Fister’s complete meltdown.

    • ManassasNatsFan

      He had 10 guys to choose from and he selected Storen again.

      How do you feel sorry for him. I don’t

      • Ghost of Steve M.

        That’s on Storen.

        • 25 to 30 pitches yesterday. Store shouldn’t have come out.

          • ManassasNatsFan

            Absolutely 30 pitches yesterday. So why would bring him in

            He proved he Cespedes out.

            Playoffs he brings in Storen to pitch to Posey and The Panda who has always trouble with.

            Mat doesn’t read his sabremetricks.

            Thus I don’t feel sorry for him.

      • I agree MnF..

    • Bad BP not helped with bad bp mgmt. Rizzo, you got some explaining to do….

      • ManassasNatsFan

        Rizzo is as bad as MW. He didn’t go for 8inning help.
        Storen was fine in the 9th, and only pitch bad going to the 8th. That is on him. Be a team player.

        • therealjohnc

          But he DID go for 8th inning help. I said at the time of the Papelbon acquisition that I believed that it wasn’t about Storen at all, but was instead about lengthening the bullpen. Having Papelbon for the 9th allows you to use Storen for the 8th, etc., the Janssen/Thornton for the 8th and mix & match as needed before that. In theory, anyway. But Rizzo knew the 8th was a problem, and went to fill it with … Drew Storen.

          • rayvil01

            Exactly, John. The move was supposed to make the 8th and 9th lockdowns. Drew’s first two (three?) appearances in the 8th were exceptional. Then the tires came off the rims.

            I don’t want to hear that the Pap trade hurt his feelings. He’s not supposed to be a China Doll. He’s supposed to be a bulldog.

          • Ghost of Steve M.

            You were correct. Just needed Benoit for the 7th and Storen to be excellent.

  • adcwonk

    Re: is the season over.

    Last thread I explained that a win tonight would put the Nats just 5 out, with a 3 game series against the Mets still in the future — and eminently do-able task.

    Seven games out is a whole different story. So that post is now moot. 🙁

  • ManassasNatsFan

    Sandy Alderson fixed his team. Rizzo twiddle his thumbs.

    • adcwonk

      Alderson had a lot of holes to fill — it was, frankly, easy to spot the fixes. I.e., anybody who could hit. They already had the pitching.

      The Nats’ biggest weakness was BP, and he got Paps. No one could have predicted that almost the entire rest of the BP would fall apart. No one thought Scherzer would have an entire winless months of August. Right before the trade dealine, Scherzer pitched seven innings of 3-hit shutout ball. Since the trade deadline, in seven starts, he is winless with an ERA of over 6, putting even more stress on the BP). No one thought that Drew would have HRod-type results. You have to plan for the likely scenarios. I don’t fault Rizzo for not predicting that.

      • ManassasNatsFan

        I wanted bullpen help Clippard, Benoit and Zieglar. Chapman if I was going for closer.

        But those three could have fixed a lot. He got none of them, and the third best closer floating around.

        • adcwonk

          But you have no idea what the asking price for guys like Benoit and Chapman were. Sure, I would like them, too. I’d also uster Posey, too, he certainly would have helped. But at what price?

          You don’t mortgage the future for BP help when you think your BP is decent enough. Most observers thought Storen and Paps would be enough, along with Blake, Rivero, Thornton, Janssen, etc.

          • ManassasNatsFan

            So by doing nothing you give away today. Is that any better?

            • adcwonk

              So by doing nothing you give away today.

              Come to your senses.

              Look — Storen had an ERA of close to 1.50 at the deadline, and had 29 saves by the end of July!

              Most everyone thought that, therefore, Storen and Paps would be plenty enough for the BP.

              Rizzo got Paps. That’s not “doing nothing”.

              And, again, I’ll repeat: you have no idea what the asking price was for Chapman.

              I’ll give you a hint: he was on the market, and every single team would love to have him — but nobody got him.

              That tells me the asking price was prohibitively high.

  • DL Ryan. Give him the surgery on his foot now. Maybe now, we see Trea play every day. DL MAT so he can heal up and get surgery and figure out what is going on.

    Really hope the Nats get their surgeries early and out the way so they can have enough time to rest and heal up for the 2016 season.

    • adcwonk

      Does surgery even work for plantar fasciitis? Or did you mean his oblique?

      • scnatsfan

        It is a last resort and difficult recovery. Just needs rest and physical therapy.

      • I want whatever it will take to ‘fix’ all his ailments and any others who are hurt so they can be ready for 2016. So if it means surgery, get it now, just fix everything now and be ready for 2016.

        • Gonats

          Can Ryan stay healthy for a whole season any more. I’m not counting on it.

    • Ghost of Steve M.

      With the expanded rosters you really don’t need to DL anyone unless you want to go 60 day DL to open up a 40 man spot.

      • Either way, I don’t want to see Ryan or MAT again this year. Sorry, I dont. I want them to get head starts on recovery for next year. No point in then coming back in this lost year.

      • Shoot, I missed the edit. I hope that comment didn’t come off as harsh/yelling/smart as that wasn’t my intent…

  • nats128

    Whatever they decide to do it could always be worse and we could get Manny Acta.

    • zmunchkin

      Or Jim Riggleman

      • ManassasNatsFan

        Bring in Yogi Berra

  • adcwonk

    One quibble:

    He gives great token answers in press conferences

    Don’t most managers do that? You don’t want to cause drama in a press conference.

    • zmunchkin

      Yup. That is the sarcastic reason it is in the list – he talks like a manager.

      • Still, he’s never even pretended to engage with reporters. That was the first thing I began to dislike about him, early last year. Other more substantive reasons quickly began to accumulate.

  • I’m not even upset… I was for a minute, like literally a minute, but I’m not anymore. It is what it is.

    • nats128

      Cant get any lower than yesterday. Blowing a 1 run lead, no biggie. Just like the 2014 playoffs. All the games blown by the bullpen except Game 3.

    • ManassasNatsFan

      As soon as I read Storen in, I knew the game was list and NW threw in the white flag as far as I was co cerned.

  • ManassasNatsFan

    Did anyone expect Storen was going to get Cespedes out.

    • No. I was still upset at that point that SS was pulled.

      • ManassasNatsFan

        MW is beyond belief. He says he doesn’t look back.

        If you don’t look back how are you suppose to learn? Your destine to make the same mistakes.

        His theory is very flawed.

        Always learn from history never just move on. Learn and move on.

  • zmunchkin

    Full Disclosure:: I seriously doubt he will get fired now. And this post, by design, is a bit over the top. But it sends a message that the Nats management needs to hear loud and clear!

  • ManassasNatsFan

    I was not in my car until after Storen gave up his homer. Did we give him the Phillies treatment. Or did they show mercy.

    • zmunchkin

      Edited your comment. Assume you meant homer, not honer.

      • ManassasNatsFan

        Thanks. Still wondering the answer.

        • Steady Eddie

          Not as far as I could hear in 136. Some of the boos were trying to drown out the Mets fans. A LOT more boos when MW came out to lift Stras, which didn’t last long as people wanted to give Stras the ovation he earned.

  • Taking a page out of Ray’s book…

    Real joyful seeing Bryce ‘ breakout season… Happy to see Espi have such a rebounded year after his terrible year last year… I am still very very very happy with the Yuni and Clippard trade… it was painful at times but it was great to see MAT get his in the job training…

    Sad that Desi will leave this organization this year in this fashion… am I missing anything.

    • adcwonk

      Joe Ross’ smashing / surprise entrance to MLB!

      After his first game, he pitched six straight “quality starts” — compiling a 2.48 ERA for those six games. All in all, 7 of his 13 starts he pitched 6+ innings allowing two runs or less

      And he’s one of only 3 MLB players younger than Bryce.
      (And, hopefully, Trea Turner)

    • Gonats

      Plenty of good.

    • rayvil01

      There’s plenty of good. This is not a dumpster fire of a roster. And, there are kids coming.

      It’s hard to see through the smoke from this dumpster fire of a series, at the moment.

  • dcwx61
  • adcwonk

    Just repeating something below:

    This is like a nightmare. Stay classy Nats fans.

    Yep. Stay classy. MW will get to finish the season. No need for an interim manager just for 3-1/2 weeks.

    BTW, on #4 (“a key player…”) — who is that referring to. I clearly missed something.

    • Reverendp

      I read that as Harper

      • zmunchkin

        Correct. Harper.

    • ManassasNatsFan

      General principle firing. Reasons 5A and 3 apply.

  • Ghost of Steve M.

    Lineup construction tonight was a problem. Espinosa in the #2 made little sense.

    • I was serious when I asked when was the last time he played a complete game and got consistent at bats.

      • adcwonk

        Just last week. Last Wed he played a whole game, went 0-for-3 with a walk and a K.

        And the week before that he started and played in three straight full games. He went 2-9 with 1 double, 1 walk, and only 2 K’s.

        At least some credit must go to deGrom — he struck out 9 in 7 IP, allowing only 5 hits. He’s 13-7, 2.40

    • adcwonk

      In all fairness — lineup composition was also a problem — i.e., RZ, Esco, and MAT all being out.

      • Gonats

        MW is snakebit. Even when he makes the right move it doesn’t work out.

        I’m not even upset over this game. Stras was great. Bryce was great.

        • adcwonk

          MW is snakebit. Even when he makes the right move it doesn’t work out.

          I agree with that. Blake Treinen went an entire month allowing only a single run. Until this series.

          Rivero had reitred 13 straight batters over 3 appearances. Until this series.

          Storen had allowed one run in the 7 games prior to this series (including a strike-out-the-side in the game before the Mets)

          Etc. Etc.

  • Maybe an exorcism… the pope is coming to town for the O’s series.

  • I don’t think MW is going to get fired. So give him more/better talent and just hope things work out next year.

    • jd

      I now think he might.

    • ManassasNatsFan

      I can only pray

  • Now, if they go down and get swept by the Marlins that could accelerate the process.

  • Ghost of Steve M.

    This is like a nightmare. Stay classy Nats fans. Matt won’t be back next year IMO. I was one of his last supporters and yesterday was the last straw bunting Rendon on a 3-1 pitch. I could write a longer story on that and why Matt f’d up. That was the crescendo on the season. The straw that broke the camels back.

    • Nats fans have had a couple of generations worth of bad baseball karma in four short years. I am not kidding.

  • I agree he should join Drew Storen where ever he goes…but don’t think it will help any doing so during the season…just have him manage the AAA team and then quietly let him go

  • natslive

    Ok agree MW needs to go. Question is who should take his place. Curious as to who folks think it should be. I was hoping for Maddon before but that’s not going to happen obviously. My vote is for Knorr or Bud Black.

    • Reverendp

      Knorr for the remainder of the season.

      • Ghost of Steve M.

        No way. No reason to. It isn’t like MW is a cancer. 3 weeks left. Ride the string out.

    • My guess is that Williams survives the season, in large part because Rizzo doesn’t want to give Knorr a foot in the door by making him interim manager.

      And yes, I am completely pulling that out of my tuchas. But that’s my strong hunch.

      • natslive

        Yeah don’t see MW going until after the season if then

    • i’d wait until after the season…Randy has enough tough things going on

  • Hahaha, Ray said it’s tough to pitch to the Mets. Did he just see 2 out of our 3 staff hold them to 1-2 runs respectively….

    • Ghost of Steve M.

      JZim shut them down for 6 and Stras shut them down for 7. People complained that JZim should have gone past 100 so MW leaves Stras in there and the 2-1 lead disappears then the 2-2 game turns to 4-2 Mets thanks to Storen and insult to injury Stras gets the L.

      • I complained about Jordan not going back out there and I complained about SS coming out. Had SS stayed in I 100 PERCENT belive he would have gotten Cespedes. I wouldn’t have had Drew pitch to him.

        Again you can check my on record as I’m not changing my mind. Drew just pitched like 30 pitches last night, why would we think he could go tonight. MW did that same crap with Jansen a couple of weeks ago.

        But SS was electric all night, keep SS in and I think the Nats win 3-2.

        I also didn’t agree with Paps coming in after pitching 2 innings last night. I feel like MW managed the 8th and 9th as a desperate man. You give max all the rope in the world but you take Jordan and SS out, who were effective.

        • Gonats

          Every situation is different. I also leave Stras in there against Cespedes because no way I give it to Storen.

          I do pull JZim last night at 100 pitches and Daniel Murphy who owns him stepping into the batters box.

          Damned if you do, damned if you don’t

          • We can agree to disagree or disagree to agree.. meh you know what I mean… lol… I said what I had to say about Jordan yesterday and again today I said what I had to say about SS…

            It is what it is.

      • Like bureaucratic generals, Matt is always fighting the previous war.

      • rayvil01

        How does Stras get the L when the winning run was scored by Cespedes? That was Storen’s run. There’s some subtlety there I don’t know.

        • Reverendp

          He gave up the hit to Granderson so when that run scored Stras was responsible for relinquishing the lead from which the team did not come back.