Matt Williams addresses his future, Bryce Harper’s role in scuffle
With a nightmarish season winding down and coming to a merciful end, Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams was asked some pointed questions Wednesday about his future with the organization and the fallout from the Jonathan Papelbon-Bryce Harper skirmish.
Williams, making his weekly appearance on 106.7 The Fan, was asked about whether he’s heard anything about his future with the team.
“I have not spoken to anybody in that regard, because we have games to play,” Williams said, as transcribed by D.C. Sports Bog.
When asked if he even wants to come back after such a dreadful season, Williams acknowledged injuries and dysfunction — which arguably stemmed from his own mismanagement — have plagued Washington all summer but nevertheless indicated his love of the game and respect for the organization compels his desire to return.
Williams was later asked about the team’s decision to sit Harper for Monday’s game as a punishment for his role in the skirmish with Papelbon, who is suspended for the remainder of the season.
While he didn’t venture an opinion about Papelbon’s future with the team, Williams seemed to suggest that even though Harper had few options in how to react to the pitcher grabbing his throat, he nevertheless played a role, so the team had to do something.
“I don’t know. I don’t know what he could have done differently,” Williams said. “The fact of the matter is, that’s an organizational decision. And I don’t know. There’s no good that comes out of any [situation] like that, right? So a skirmish is something we don’t want. That type of behavior from Pap is unacceptable…”
Williams indicated the team has moved forward from what occurred and then went on to praise Harper for the talented player that he is.
“But right now it’s done, and it’s in our past, and it will not define us, and Bryce will go on and have a fantastic career and lead this team for years to come.”
Given how things have played out in such horrible fashion this season, it appears unlikely that Williams will be around to witness Harper’s greatness firsthand.