Matt Williams has been the target of much criticism this week, which apparently isn't just coming from fans and the media, but his own clubhouse as well.
Heaps of criticism have fallen on Williams this week as the Nats' late-season slide continues, particularly for an unsuccessful bunt call that he made on a 3-1 count with Anthony Rendon at the plate with no outs and the Nationals down, 8-7, in the ninth inning.
Williams later defended the decision, noting that everyone has their opinions when it comes to managerial decisions.
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Some of those with varying opinions might be in the Nationals clubhouse.
According to a report from the Washington Post, some Nats players "privately have questioned playing time choices and pitcher usage" made by Williams.
The report details that "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," the Post's report reads, "but they also see in-game decisions that have backfired."
While Williams and general manager Mike Rizzo are said to maintain a good relationship, and the second-year manager is under contract for 2016, the Nats brass reportedly has yet to make a decision on Williams' future with the club.
"He's got respect of the clubhouse," Rizzo said last week. "He manages people well. He shows leadership qualities. He's been improving as a tactician with the bullpen. When you have to work around injuries and poor performance at times, it's difficult. He's done an admirable job of keeping this team focused, energized and playing hard and having the right attitude through so many injuries and different lineups and different rotations and bullpen scenarios."
Despite Rizzo's remarks, the report asserts that Williams' tense demeanor during games has had an adverse effect on some players.
"Several players have described Williams as tense during games," it reads. "But how that affects players varies. Managers are in charge of setting the tone for a team, and players often follow those cues. Some Nationals said Williams' style has had an impact [on them] even if they tried not to let it, while others said his personality shouldn't affect them."
Although the Nationals owned the top of the NL East standings for the majority of the first half of the season, the rise of the red-hot Mets and their own steady decline finds a team that was considered a heavy World Series favorite prior to the season on the cusp of missing the postseason, currently 7 ½ games back in its division.
That disappointment certainly doesn't help bring out the most endearing thoughts from the Nationals about the club and their manager.
Amid the reports about his reportedly rocky relationships with some of his players, Williams asserts he maintains a good rapport with the Nats players.
"Contrary to some reports, I think [my relationship with players has] been great," he said. "I think our communication level is fine. I talk to these guys every single day about how they're feeling and spent time with them on how things are going. I'm here as support to them."
(h/t Washington Post)