In a press release this morning, the Washington Nationals officially named Matt Williams the new manager, confirming reports which came out last week. The 47-year-old former major league infielder replaces Davey Johnson, who stepped down as the Nationals' skipper following the 2013 campaign.
"'I feel privileged and honored to be a part of this team,'" Williams says in the team's press release. "'It’s a wonderful group of guys and a great organization. I’m simply here to help take us to the next level.'" The job will be Williams' first as a major league manager though he did lead the Salt River Rafters in the AFL in 2012 and fill in at Double-A for a stretch in 2007 when the team's manager suffered a mild stroke.
The lack of managing experience doesn't appear to be a concern for the Nationals. Both Managing Principal Owner Theodore N. Lerner and GM Mike Rizzo addressed the hiring in today's press release:
"Matt has a wealth of knowledge and experience as a former player and coach," said Theodore N. Lerner, Managing Principal Owner of the Nationals. "But what most impresses us is his ability to understand and ably communicate situations and strategies in a disciplined, forthright manner. We think he is the right leader for a Washington Nationals team ready to compete for a World Series championship."
"'I could not be more pleased to welcome Matt Williams and his family to the Nationals and the Nation’s Capital,'" Rizzo added. "'In some ways, my interview with Matt began during our days together in Arizona, where his undeniable toughness, attention to detail and intensity established a foundation for a Diamondbacks expansion franchise that reached the postseason in its second season and won a World Series two years later.
All these years later, Matt’s preparedness for this position, knowledge of our roster, system and league set him apart. He is a fierce competitor with a progressive view of the game."
Williams will introduced to the nation's capital on Friday afternoon in a 2:00 PM EDT press conference in Nationals Park.
More from Federal Baseball:
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