Washington Nationals' first baseman Adam LaRoche, who may have already played his last game as a National, was asked a few weeks back for his take on the job Matt Williams did on the bench in 2014 in his first gig as a manager outside of a stint in the Arizona Fall League.
Williams led the Nationals to the NL East title, 96 wins and a quick exit from the postseason.
"I thought he was excellent," LaRoche told MLB Network Radio hosts Kevin Kennedy and Jim Duquette.
"I thought the guy was excellent. I left Arizona, I had Matt as a coach there and I remember leaving there saying that this is one of the best coaches that I've ever had, ever been around. Just with his mentality. He wasn't too far out of the game as a player to where he forgot how hard it is, some of the little things that I think as you get older seem like they were easier back in the day than they actually are. He gets it.
"I said before, he came into Spring Training and had the respect of the guys because of what he did as a player and his job was to quickly try to earn that respect as a manager, and the leader of that ballclub and he did it. I think he's going to be there for a while and a big reason why we were in that position to have that chance to make a run there late in the postseason.
"I'll stand behind him any time. He's a good man."
On Tuesday morning, Williams was named The Sporting News' NL Manager of the Year after receiving four first-place votes from the "panel of 22 major league managers" who voted.
The Sporting News announced their winners for the award that's been given to the league's top managers since 1936...
Williams receiving the award from the Sporting News was one of three big stories in NatsTown on Tuesday. Palm Beach County in Florida voted to approve funding for a new spring training home for the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros. Now they just have to find a site. Oh and there was more MASN tv rights news. Amateur lawyers (and uh, real lawyers, I guess), it's your time to shine again!! Links and lots of them, starting... RIGHT NOW!!!:
• THE BIG STORY!!! (I know, I know, I went outside the top stories):
• "'The Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, San Diego Padres, Kansas City Royals, Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks have scouted Kang in Korea,' according to a Global Sporting Integration report." - "MLB teams are lining up to sign slugging SS Kang Jung-ho" - The Korea Times
MLB teams are lining up to sign slugging SS Kang Jung-ho – The Korea Times http://t.co/OHYEdjdonl— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) October 22, 2014
• Sporting News names Matt Williams NL MOY:
• "Scioscia and Williams took talented teams that underachieved in 2013 and led them to the best records in their respective leagues this season." - "Sporting News MLB awards: Mike Scioscia, Matt Williams voted top managers" - Justin McGuire, MLB | Sporting News
• "Williams, a former all-star player and Arizona Diamondbacks coach, took over the talented Nationals this offseason under unusual circumstances..." - "Matt Williams named NL Manager of the Year by Sporting News" - James Wagner, The Washington Post
• "Williams beat out the Cardinals’ Mike Matheny and the Marlins’ Mike Redmond for the Sporting News award, announced today by the publication." - "Matt Williams named Sporting News NL Manager of the Year" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider
Matt Williams wins Sporting News' NL Manager of the Year award. Voted on by fellow managers. (Official BBWAA award next month.)— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) October 21, 2014
• "The league-endorsed end-of-season awards, voted on by the members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, won't be announced until November. Matt Williams could find..." - "Nationals Pastime: Williams voted Sporting News NL Manager of the Year" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com
• "When reached by phone, Williams felt it was more of an organizational award." - "Williams named Sporting News' top NL manager" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
• Nats Spring Training Home:
• "Earlier Astros owner Jim Crane had stressed the need to close a deal by the end of a year to make a 2017 opening viable, so finding a new site in the next two weeks is pretty much mandatory." - "Palm Beach County: All in on spring training" - Kevin Reichard, Ballpark Digest
Palm Beach County shows enthusiasm for new Nationals / Astros spring-training complex: $135 million from bed taxes: http://t.co/nVsQeL42x8— Ballpark Digest (@ballparkdigest) October 21, 2014
• "Some commissioners and tax payers voiced skepticism with the deal because the baseball teams have not decided on a location for the stadium." - "Commissioners approve spending $135M for new spring training facility" - Chris McGrath, WPBF Home
• "The Astros and Washington Nationals received an encouraging vote on funding for a new spring training facility in the West Palm Beach, Fla., area, but they are now on the clock to find a site to build a new complex for the two teams." - "Vote clears path for Astros to seek spring site in West Palm Beach" - Houston Chronicle
• "The teams reportedly now have 90 days to find a location for the complex." - "Nationals, Astros to leave Central Florida?" - Bay News 9
BREAKING: PBC votes to give $108 million in bed-tax money to Astros, Nationals http://t.co/C2NAriPwho— The Palm Beach Post (@pbpost) October 21, 2014
• "The Washington Nationals have been in Viera since 2005 and have been searching for a new home for both them and the Houston Astros." - "Nationals one step closer to leaving Viera" - Mike Parsons and Dave Berman, Florida Today
• "Where to build the stadium remains unresolved, and how to pay for it still poses a hurdle to finalizing the deal." - "County supports spending up to $135M to build new baseball stadium" - Andy Reid, Florida Sun-Sentinel
•"The Washington Nationals and Houston Astros staged a political late-inning rally Tuesday, winning conceptual approval for $108 million in local hotel tax revenue..." - "Astros, Nationals get Palm Beach County bed tax money" - Joe Capozzi, www.palmbeachpost.com
• "The Washington Nationals and Houston Astros won the Palm Beach County's blessing for $108 million in funding for a spring training complex..." - "Washington Nationals, Houston Astros win $108M in county funds for stadium" - Brian Bandell, South Florida Business Journal
• "The Cardinals appear on the verge of gaining two new spring neighbors, as the Board of County Commissioners in Palm Beach County, Fla., approved financing for the Nationals and Astros to build a Spring Training facility..." - "Cardinals may gain Spring Training neighbors, stay in Jupiter" - Jenifer Langosch, cardinals.com
• "The commissioners voted, 5-2, to allocate $108 million in hotel tax revenue for the facility, which will cost $135 million to build." - "Nats, Astros closer to sharing Spring Training complex" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
• "If a site is secured and construction begins in a relatively timely fashion, the new complex still likely wouldn’t be ready for use until spring 2017, leaving the Nationals in Viera at least two more years." - "Palm Beach approves funding for Nats/Astros spring training complex" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider
• "'The Board of Commissioners took a major step today toward keeping the tradition of major league baseball’s spring training in Palm Beach County...'" - "Palm Beach County approves funding for Nationals-Astros spring training complex but without a site" - James Wagner, The Washington Post
• Your Minute of Angelos Hate:
• "In the filings, MLB and the Nationals said that the ruling should stand and argued against concerns the Orioles and MASN had about the ruling..." - "MASN rights dispute: Washington Nationals, MLB file documents supporting ruling in case vs. Baltimore Orioles" - MLB - SI.com
Nationals, MLB file documents supporting ruling in MASN rights dispute case against Orioles: http://t.co/gGRR3IEhbS— SI Wire (@SI_Wire) October 21, 2014
• "In their ongoing legal dispute, Major League Baseball and the Nationals have asked a New York Supreme Court to uphold an MLB panel’s ruling that awarded the Nationals higher rights fees." - "MLB, Nationals ask court to uphold panel’s TV rights ruling in MASN dispute" - James Wagner, The Washington Post
• NATS BEAT:
• "Two weeks after watching his team get eliminated from the National League Division Series against the Giants, Nationals slugger Ryan Zimmerman is currently resting his right hamstring." - "Zimmerman resting hammy; may play first base in 2015" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
• "It's easy to forget how young Anthony Rendon is, both in terms of age and how little big league experience he possesses." - "Nationals Pastime: Rendon's 2014 season a sign of things to come" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com
• "So LaRoche will find himself back on the open market at age 35, hoping to parlay his track record of consistency into a new, multi-year deal with somebody." - "Nationals Roster Review: Adam LaRoche" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider
• "Ramos’ tough luck with injuries continued from the first game of the season." - "Nationals positional review, Part 5: Catchers" - James Wagner, The Washington Post
• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:
• "Yewri Guillén, an 18-year-old Dominican player died of bacterial meningitis in 2011 because there was no doctor or certified athletic trainer at the Washington Nationals’ academy where he lived and played." - "As World Series Begins, So Does ‘Latin American Pipeline’ to MLB" - Latin America News Dispatch
• "To strike out 20 times means that for nearly seven innings the Giants only needed to put their pitcher and catcher in the field because the Nats failed to put the ball in play." - "Forget The Three-Run Homer—Just Strike Out Less" - Lee Smith, The Weekly Standard
Forget The Three-Run Homer—Just Strike Out Less http://t.co/NFP6bP1wFq— The Weekly Standard (@weeklystandard) October 21, 2014
• "Though he’s not technically a lock to hit the open market due to a $15MM mutual option ($2MM buyout), Adam LaRoche is a near certainty to be a free agent due to the rarity of such options being picked up..." - "Free Agent Profile: Adam LaRoche" - Steve Adams, MLB Trade Rumors
• "In November 2011, Deric Ladnier of the Washington Nationals’ front office telephoned Allard Baird of the Boston Red Sox’s front office." - "Staying with top picks finally pays off for Royals" - Ken Davidoff, New York Post
How the San Francisco Giants hacked postseason baseball http://t.co/krJQiKdaWE— The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) October 21, 2014
• "'Teams like the Washington Nationals, who won 96 games, were helped by having a deep starting rotation...'" - "How the Giants Hacked Baseball's Postseason" - Matt Schiavenza, The Atlantic
• "'The danger of losing the Washington Baseball Club became acute last night when Calvin Griffith, president of the Nationals, announced he has received ‘two very attractive offers...'" - "Calvin Griffith once considered moving the Senators to San Francisco" - Dan Snyder, The Washington Post
• "2014 playoff team payroll analysis" - Todd Boss, Nationals Arm Race
• "On Tuesday afternoon, Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams hauled in his first major award at the helm of a MLB franchise." - "Washington Nationals' Matt Williams Wins Sporting News Manager Of The Year" - Brian Skinnell, District Sports Page
• NL EAST UPDATES:
• Braves: "And the Braves have a highly regarded, strong-armed rookie catcher, Christian Bethancourt, who only turned 23 last month but has already spent most of seven seasons in the minor leagues..." - "Braves catcher in ’15: Bethancourt, Gattis, or both?" - David O'Brien, Atlanta Braves blog
• Marlins: "Shields will likely be at the top of Miami's shopping list. Big Game James would be a game-changer for the Marlins, elevating the rotation to another level." - "Marlins likely to seek talent with playoff experience" - Joe Frisaro, marlins.com
• Mets: "[Kevin] Long, who recently was fired by the Yankees, will interview Wednesday for the Mets' vacant hitting coach position, a source confirmed." - "Source: Kevin Long to interview for Mets' hitting coach position" - Marc Carig, Newsday
• Phillies: "With uncertainty on the major league staff and no one in the minor league system expected to compete for a starting job this spring, the Phillies re-signed veteran Jerome Williams last night." - "Phils re-sign Jerome Williams" - Ryan Lawrence, Philadelphia Daily News