Wire Taps: Nationals Hire Matt Williams - What "They're" Saying

Rob Carr

The Washington Nationals formally announced the hiring of Matt Williams as the Nats' sixth manager since 2005. Then the baseball world reacted to the announcement. If you weren't in front of a computer, mobile device or radio all day, here's what you missed...

"I could not be more pleased to welcome Matt Williams and his family to the Nationals and the Nation’s Capital," Washington Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo said today in a press release on the hiring of the Nats' new manager. "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."

Williams becomes the Nats' sixth manager since 2005 after Frank Robinson, Manny Acta, Jim Riggleman, John McLaren and Davey Johnson. The Nationals will make the official introduction in D.C. on Friday at 2:00 PM EDT in a press conference that will be televised on MASN, MLB.com and Nationals.com. Here's how the baseball world is reacting to the Nationals' announcement, which leaked to the press via FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal last week. Links and lots of them, starting... RIGHT NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!:

• via Twitter:

• "The players wanted bench coach Randy Knorr. Cal Ripken Jr., threw his name out as a candidate for the job. The message is clear: Rizzo's running the show, not the players." - "Mike Rizzo puts his faith in Matt Williams" - Tracy Ringolsby, nationals.com: News

• NATS BEAT - Matt Williams Edition:

• "With the completion of the World Series and the lifting of Major League Baseball’s news embargo, the Nationals officially named Williams their next manager." - "Nationals: Matt Williams is manager because of intelligence, intensity" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "He is exceedingly honest and to the point. As a player, he was the leader of that team. He didn't like showboating, that really gets to him." - "Diamondbacks scribe on Williams: 'He is a classic old-school baseball type guy'" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Williams will be introduced at a press conference at Nationals Park on Friday afternoon. He will don his new jersey and begin the task of convincing his players they are a championship-caliber club." - "Matt Williams brings intensity to his new job as Nationals manager" - Brian McNally, Washington Times

• via Twitter:

• "Despite his deep familiarity and admiration for Williams, Rizzo insisted that the former third baseman wasn’t a favorite entering the managerial search." - "Mike Rizzo on Matt Williams, managerial search and coaching staff" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "'It was a very difficult decision,' Rizzo said in a conference call. 'But Matt, we felt, possessed all the characteristics of a successful manager..." - "Nationals GM Mike Rizzo: New manager Matt Williams 'can take us to the next level'" - Brian McNally, Washington Times

• "Rizzo, who left the Diamondbacks to join the Nationals’ front office in 2006 and then ascended to the GM position in 2009, kept tabs on Williams..." - "Washington Nationals officially name Matt Williams new manager" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "The decision to hire Williams was made by Rizzo and the ownership group, which includes the Lerner family." - "Washington Nationals name Matt Williams manager" - Bill Ladson, MLB.com: News

• "But Williams was far from a typical young player. On the field, he radiated intensity." - "Matt Williams brings intensity to his new job as Nationals manager" - Brian McNally, Washington Times

• "Williams was known as an intense player, nicknamed 'The Big Marine', but he’s earned a reputation as a coach that’s tough but fair..." - "Washington Nationals name Matt Williams as new skipper" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

• via Twitter:

• "Williams, who retired as a player in 2003, was among more than 80 players identified as having connections to performance-enhancing drugs in the 2007 report..." - "Nationals Make Matt Williams MLB’s First Mitchell Report Manager" - Erik Matuszewski, Bloomberg

• "After months of speculation made more interesting by a disappointing season, the Washington Nationals have a new manager — former Arizona Diamondbacks third-base coach Matt Williams." - "Reasoning behind Nationals’ hiring of Matt Williams" - Matt Krause, The Pendulum

• via Twitter:

• RANDOM NATS STUFF:

• "The Nationals have a solid center fielder and leadoff hitter in Denard Span but sources suggest they may still consider [Jacoby] Ellsbury..." - "Nationals among many teams looking at Jacoby Ellsbury" - Jon Heyman, CBSSports.com

• "Study: Nats’ Owner Ted Lerner Wealthiest Person in State of Maryland" - Chris Lingebach, CBS

• "Washington Nationals owner and real estate mogul Ted Lerner is considered the richest person in Maryland, with a net worth of $4.1 billion, coming in 27th on the list." - "Mars Jr., Lerner make list of wealthiest Americans by state" - Jacqueline Lampert, Washington Business Journal

• via Twitter:

• "Soriano, 33, is back at home in the Dominican now with his family and soon he will begin stopping by the nearby military base to coach this year’s baseball team." - "Rafael Soriano is in the Dominican Air Force" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "The Nationals will conduct their first strength and conditioning camp for select prospects starting next week at the training facility in Viera, Fla..." - "Nats set to debut strength and conditioning camp next week for young prospects" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Needless to say, the Nats swept their way to the GCL championship, and, as MiLB.com notes, they also set the all-time record for winning percentage by a U.S.-based rookie-level or short-season-league club." - "The Nationals' 2013 GCL affiliate was really, really good at baseball" - Dayn Perry, CBSSports.com

• via Twitter:

• "Talk radio buzzed that corporate types were commandeering the turf of Red Sox Nation, purloining a symbolic moment, 95 years in the making." - "2013 World Series: Fenway fans get chance to celebrate at home" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post

• "'Skole is coming back strong,' [Brian] Goodwin said. 'He had a little vacation there, but I think he's getting back in the swing of things.'" - "Brian Goodwin, Matt Skole deliver big games to sink Scorpions" - Teddy Cahill, MLB.com: News

• "These 18 Players Were Selected Ahead Of Michael Wacha In The 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft" - Chris Greenberg, Huffington Post

• "Washington, which just officially announced Matt Williams as its next manager, are viewed by Vegas as a Top 5 team next season, according to the 2014 World Series odds released Thursday, courtesy of Bovada." - "Vegas Gives Nationals 10/1 Odds to Win 2014 World Series" - Chris Lingebach, CBS DC

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Braves: "As for [Brian] McCann, the Braves will certainly make at least a one-year qualifying offer (that about will be about $14.1 million this year) to assure they get a compensatory draft pick..." - "Braves' offseason about to get busier" - David O'Brien, www.ajc.com

Phillies: "[Maikel] Franco has been named minor league baseball's Breakout Player of the Year, with his aggressive offensive stats impressing all year." - "Maikel Franco named minor league Breakout Prospect of the Year" - Justin Klugh, Philly.com

Marlins: "This Day in Marlins History: Task force for MLB expansion" - PedroRFigueroa, Fish Stripes

Mets: "'We won 74 games last year, so that’s a starting point,' [Sandy] Alderson said. 'That suggests that improvements are necessary.'" - "Mets GM: Jeff Wilpon’s bold remarks were ‘off the cuff’" - Dan Martin, New York Post

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