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General Manager Mike Rizzo said he wasn’t going to let Williams “twist in the wind” and indeed he didn’t, cutting ties on the first day of the team’s offseason. The former all-star third baseman had two club-option years left on his contract.
Speculation about Williams began rising throughout the second-half of a disappointing season, one in which the Nationals had expected to reach the postseason and, by according to some experts, contend for a World Series title. But with poor performances culminating in an end-of-season meltdown between star outfielder Bryce Harper and deadline acquisition Jonathan Papelbon—Williams suspended both for a fight in the dugout—it looked increasingly like the manager would go.
Fans frustrated by the inexperienced Williams’ late-game decisions have been calling for his head for months.
Who’s next? Reports circulated a month ago that Cal Ripken, the Oriole hall-of-famer, might be interested in the job and had talked with the team.