Another day, another report that, as CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman writes this afternoon, "Matt Williams' job is in great jeopardy."
Heyman has, of course, been writing similar things for months now, though he adds today that, "... it's getting worse, as he became a rare manager booed at his own home press conference (the Nats are one of those rare teams that lets season ticket holders into the press conferences)."
While not entirely, precisely, accurate, since the fans in question were not in the press conference but were actually in the Presidents Club, behind a glass wall, and after that incident, security guards, as Washington Post writer James Wagner noted today, the visuals and audio from that incident, which were captured by CSNWashington's cameras, were not good.
But more than that of course, as Heyman notes, "the clubhouse is said to be a 'mess' by one insider."
In Wagner's WaPost report, he too writes that, "In the clubhouse, there is a sense among some players of indifference toward their manager.":
"Players understand Williams was in a challenging position: a first-time manager tasked with leading a World Series favorite, but they also see in-game decisions that have backfired."
He adds that some have, "... privately have questioned playing time choices and pitcher usage. And sometimes lack of playing time, a quick hook from a game or in-game strategic call from the dugout can be interpreted as a lack of confidence."
Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo, as quoted in the WaPost article, told reporters this week that no change was imminent:
"We have 25 games left," Rizzo said. "Matt Williams is our manager, and he’s going to lead us through this stretch. I’ve always supported him. We’re not going to talk about 2016 while 2015 is ongoing."
Interpret that as you will. Is he saying: Matt Williams will stay through the season then he's gone? That no decision has been made and they'll talk after the season -- you know, the literal, that's what he actually said interpretation? Is the statement purposely vague?
As for Rizzo himself?
Heyman writes that Rizzo, "apparently isn't getting a gold star from his bosses, either, but he isn't expected to lose his job," though some of the blame, he adds, including the Nationals', "... relief issues are on him, but this is still a decent team -- on paper, anyway."
"People familiar with the situation have indicated that no decision has been made on Williams’s future at this point," the WaPost's Wagner writes, with Williams saying the talks about his future will come at some point:
"There’s time for that," Williams said. "Now is not that time. Right now, it’s about winning as many games as we can win."
With 23 games left and the New York Mets up by 7.0 games in the division, it's likely past the point of a new voice sparking a run.
Will Williams be the manager when pitchers and catchers report for the start of the 2016 campaign?