Nationals GM says Williams won't 'twist in the wind'
NEW YORK (AP) Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo says a decision about Matt Williams' future with the team will be made soon.
Amid speculation the manager is likely to be fired following a frustrating year for the Nationals, Rizzo spoke with reporters before Sunday's season finale at Citi Field. He said the club is ''not going to let people twist in the wind'' and the organization wants to begin preparing for 2016.
Washington was a World Series favorite in spring training, but the Nationals struggled with injuries, poor play and internal turmoil. They were eliminated from playoff contention last weekend and entered Sunday at 83-78, six games behind the NL East champion New York Mets.
Rizzo acknowledged the Nationals had ''much higher expectations'' and are ''extremely frustrated'' and disappointed by their performance. He said he thinks the team has ''great chemistry in the clubhouse'' and he's ''very comfortable with the players that we have under control.''
Rizzo said the staff probably will start looking ahead to next year on the plane ride home from New York, and members of the front office will meet as early as Monday.
''We'll get all of our baseball operations people together and we'll begin the process of sorting out what went right, what went wrong, what we need, and what we need to do to go forward to become the championship organization that the Washington fan base deserves,'' said Rizzo, bothered recently by a bad back.
''I think we're going to examine everything from top to bottom and see where we can make improvements.''
Asked directly if Williams will return next season, Rizzo said: ''We've got a game to play today. After the game today we're going to make all the pertinent decisions. Rosters, personnel, from top to bottom. We'll talk about them and we'll have a decision down the road.''
Williams guided the Nationals to an NL East title last season and was the NL Manager of the Year in his first season on the job. In February, the Nationals exercised the option on his contract for 2016. His deal also includes a team option for 2017.
Williams said Saturday that nobody in the organization had spoken to him about his future with the club and he wasn't concerned about it.
''We're going to evaluate each aspect of the organization,'' Rizzo said. ''Any decision we make, we're going to be decisive and make decisions sooner rather than later about personnel, both on the field, off the field and in the front office.''