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Nationals' Matt Williams named BBWAA's 2014 NL Manager of the Year

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Washington Nationals' skipper Matt Williams led the Nats back to the postseason in his own first year on the bench in the nation's capital and today the former major league slugger was named the BBWAA's 2014 NL Manager of the Year.

Jonathan Ernst

In his first season as manager and his first job as a manager at any level of the game outside of a short stint on the bench in the Arizona Fall League in 2012, Washington Nationals' skipper Matt Williams led the Nats to 96 wins, the NL East crown and an appearance in the NLDS.

"He is a respected leader, and the steady hand that navigated our team through many challenges this season." -Mike Rizzo on Matt Williams winning 2014 NL MOY

Though the Nationals fell short in their second postseason run in the last three years, Williams did enough in the regular season to convince voters from the Baseball Writers' Association of America that he was worthy of being named the National League Manager of the Year for 2014.

Williams was named the National League Manager of the Year by the BBWAA tonight, besting both San Francisco Giants' skipper Bruce Bochy and the Pittsburgh Pirates' manager Clint Hurdle to become the second Nationals' skipper in three seasons to earn the nod as the BBWAA's NL MOY:

As noted on the BBWAA's official site, Williams was the fourth first-year skipper to win the NL MOY.

The decision was made by voting members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

"Ballots from two writers in each league city prior to postseason play are tabulated on a system that rewards five points for first place, three points for second place and one point for third place," as the BBWAA explains.

Williams received 18 first-place votes, with Hurdle receiving the second-most first place votes with eight overall.

"'On behalf of the Lerner Family and the entire Washington Nationals organization, I want to offer heartfelt congratulations to Matt on this well-deserved award,'" Nats' GM Mike Rizzo said in a press release.

"'His first year in the dugout was excellent, and it was a pleasure to watch him grow throughout. He is a respected leader, and the steady hand that navigated our team through many challenges this season.

"'What we accomplished this season would not have been possible without the right man at the helm. That was Matt this season, and we’re all looking forward to 2015.'"

"'I am incredibly honored and humbled by this award,'" Williams said in the release.

"'This was a very special year for us, and I am proud of what we accomplished in my first season at the helm. For me, as a newcomer to the managerial fraternity, it is a privilege just to be considered amongst the best in our game. Clint and Bruce are certainly that.

"'While this is an incredible acknowledgement by the writers, I know we have bigger goals to accomplish in Washington and I look forward to the challenge that the 2015 season will bring.'"