MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Williams only focused on final games of season

Williams only focused on final games of season

NEW YORK -- Despite the reports that he is going to be dismissed as manager of the Nationals, Matt Williams said nobody in the front office has talked to him about his status with the club. He said he is focusing on the final three games of the season against the Mets.

"Nobody has spoken to me at this point and, frankly, it's not a concern of mine right now," Williams said. "We have a guy [Bryce Harper] who is a potential MVP on our team and we have three games to play. That's what I'm concentrating on. That's what I know right now. As of today, I have a job to do a couple of times and we'll go from there."

It was a rough September for Williams. The Mets swept a crucial three-game series from the Nationals at Nationals Park during the second week of the month. By Sept. 26, the Nationals were eliminated from postseason contention as the Mets won the National League East title.

A day later, Harper and Jonathan Papelbon were involved in a dugout confrontation. It was a scuffle that Williams claimed he didn't see until he saw a video of it later that night. Papelbon ended up getting suspended four games because of the fracas.

Then reports surfaced in the Washington Post that Williams lost the club and that he doesn't communicate well with his players. In the reports, some of those players questioned how Williams handled the bullpen, which turned out to be the team's weakest link.

Asked why he didn't defend himself after the reports came out, Williams said, "I personally feel that it's my job to be a calming force as opposed to a disruptive one. We have a lot of talented players on this team that I support wholeheartedly every single day. I will not stop doing that -- ever. Believe me when I tell you this.

"So with that being said, I'm not going to subject this team to any more distractions. There's no need for further distractions at this point. What's important is that we finish this season strong. Beyond that, it's noise."

Williams said he talks to Nationals management every single day, but wouldn't tell the local media what has been said between the two parties.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.