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Bryce Harper staying in the majors, per manager Matt Williams

There shouldn't have been any question, but Williams made his decision crystal clear.

Patrick Smith

In a non-event that's become a thing, Matt Williams vociferously defended Bryce Harper during an on-air radio interview with 106.7 The Fan on Wednesday morning, as reported by the Associated Press. Asked whether it would be a good idea to send Harper to the minors, Williams said that is generally the case with a struggling young player, but that Harper is different. Wednesday afternoon brought more questions to which Williams made it quite clear that Harper was staying with the major league team. He expounded

"It's not fair to the kid, it's not fair to the rest of the guys in that clubhouse to even think about sending Bryce Harper to the minor leagues, or to cause a stir. It's unacceptable. It won't happen."

For all the hubbub that's been stirred up between Harper and Williams, almost every single time, the Nationals Manager has gone to the mat for his young star. It seems the way that Williams entertains certain questions only invites more questions, which isn't surprising for a first-year manager. Presumably, though, his skills with the media will sharpen, and dustups like this one can be avoided going forward.

Harper has been in a slide since July 23, where he's hitting .178/.275/.200 in 51 plate appearances. Prior to that, he was slashing a disappointing, but still reasonable .272/.353/.412. While it's been a bumpy season for Harper, it doesn't make sense to send him down on the basis of a rough 50 plate appearances. While Williams might not handle things in the most graceful manner, it seems he and GM Mike Rizzo are making the right choices here.