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By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Randy Knorr
The new manager of the Washington Nationals, hired just last week, was a third-base coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks when Wilson Ramos, now Williams' catcher, took his time trotting around the bases after a home run in a game in Phoenix more than two years ago. The fiery side of Williams erupted.
When he was earning Gold Gloves and making All-Star appearances and winning a World Series as a player, new Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams certainly made an impression on Jayson Werth.
If you are looking for signs of hope, the Nationals hiring Matt Williams is one of them – the players don't make the decisions. Nationals general manager and president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo does, and this one may be the most important of his tenure so far.
Matt Williams will be the next manager of the Nationals. Several outlets are reporting that general manager Mike Rizzo has settled on Williams to replace Davey Johnson.
As incredibly cool as it would be to have an icon like Ripken as the manager of the Nats, it is not a good idea. Not now anyway.
Nats GM Mike Rizzo does not expect to run the decision by his players. What he might find if he asked, though, is a group that already has a pretty good idea of who they'd like to lead them.
The Nats figure to be a contender again next season. The right manager can lead them back to the playoffs. The wrong manager? He can make a mess out of a team that needs to come back strong from this disappointing season. This team can win and it needs to do it next year.
Teams build their farm systems in order to develop players into major leaguers, and the main goal is to produce as much MLB-caliber talent as possible. It's how the success of any team's system is judged. What, then, should be made of the actual on-field success the Nationals' system has had this year?
Four names have emerged as possibilities to replace the manager. They all operate differently than Johnson. They are younger, and some have more outward fire than the 70-year-old Johnson often projects.
Right in the middle of it all from the very start to the end, Bryce Harper delivered the first game-ending homer of his career, a two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth Thursday that lifted Washington to a 9-7 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates and ended the Nationals' losing streak at six.
As Ramos stood at the top step of the Nationals' dugout in the seventh inning of Washington's 8-5 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers and basked in the curtain call that followed his go-ahead three-run homer, all he could do was smile.
In a 7-0 beating of the Minnesota Twins Sunday afternoon, the Nationals took the first game of a doubleheader and put another game into the category of "possible streak starter."
"I met a guy today who had been through 49 surgeries," said Chad Tracy. "I've been through four of five myself, just to imagine a guy going through almost 50 surgeries, to see he was still a driven, confident, leader of a man really touched me."
Since the Nationals moved Detwiler back into the starting rotation for good last June, and including the playoffs, he has posted a 2.97 ERA in 121 1/3 innings of work.
Harper homered in his first two at-bats to account for the only scoring and Strasburg pitched seven shutout innings as the defending NL East champs opened their 2013 campaign.
"It'll help prepare me going in," Knorr said. "Get different ideas of what [Williams] wants to do and going into spring training, we can just get it going right away without having to stay in a room and fight over something that we can talk about now. And then I can spread it to the other coaches."
Knorr told Zuckerman he had not heard from the Nationals, but would be willing to stay if Williams wants him as bench coach.