The Nationals did not waste any time making a change in the dugout, as Matt Williams has been fired as their manager just one day after the regular season ended. The move was not a surprise, given the Nats were early favorites who instead became a disaster in many ways, but the speed with which it came suggests the Nats made their decision well before Monday.
Williams was the National League manager of the year in 2014 for leading Washington to the NL East crown and the Senior Circuit's top record, but he combined with many, many injuries to help lead the Nats to a disappointing follow-up. Any manager would have a difficult time winning when they didn't even field their planned Opening Day lineup until late-August, but a number of questionable managerial decisions (his call to bunt with Bryce Harper on-deck in a late series against the Mets comes to mind) and his part in the aftermath of the Jonathan Papelbon - Bryce Harper dugout fight did not help his position at all, with Williams basically pleading ignorance to the whole thing while using Papelbon in the ninth inning, post-dugout choke.
The Washington Post reports that Williams and his players had communication issues, and that it played into some of 2015's problems. His exit is also not expected to be the only one on the coaching staff.
The direction the Nationals will now go in the dugout and beyond is unknown, as they have some changes coming to the roster thanks to free agency and a vacancy in the dugout. They do still have Bryce Harper, Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Anthony Rendon as well, though, so it's not as if this is the end of the line for this Washington core.
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SB Nation presents: The fight in the Nationals dugout last week