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    James Wagner of the Washington Post’s latest column is an excellent, in-depth look at Nationals assistant general manager Doug Harris, who draws strong praise from his colleagues within the Washington front office and from the players whose development he has aided over the years. Both Steven Souza and Tyler Moore told Wagner they wouldn’t be…

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    ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick looks at the future of the Phillies‘ front office, noting that industry insiders mention Royals assistant GM J.J. Picollo and former Red Sox GM Ben Cherington as possible successors to Ruben Amaro Jr. in the event that president-to-be Andy MacPhail makes a change. Interim president Pat Gillick, who’s stepping down after the…

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    In today’s edition of his weekly Inside Baseball column, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports begins by highlighting the fact that the NL East division title race will determine the fate of Nationals manager Matt Williams and Mets manager Terry Collins. Heyman writes that while Nats GM Mike Rizzo has repeatedly backed Williams, Rizzo is something of a…

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    Dan Jennings has a standing offer from the Marlins to return to the GM seat, but has not yet informed the team whether he will accept, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. Miami seemingly expects that Jennings will slot back in at that role, unless he is able to land a job elsewhere with more…

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    Star Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper provided a ringing endorsement for embattled skipper Matt Williams, as Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. “Truly, I love him as a manager,” said Harper. “Flat out I absolutely do. If I didn’t, everybody would know.” Player sentiment only goes so far, of course, but the comments do seem particularly meaningful with Harper…

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    Despite a terrible second half following up what had been an already underwhelming season, multiple executives tell Jon Heyman of CBS Sports that they expect White Sox right-hander Jeff Samardzija to do just fine in free agency. As has been said on many occasions, scouts love Samardzija’s raw stuff and competitive nature, and as Heyman points out…

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    Here’s the latest from Ken Rosenthal, via a video on FOX Sports. Rosenthal suggests that Bryce Harper‘s recent praise for manager Matt Williams could be a genuine expression of support that could help dissuade the Nationals from firing Williams, or it could be a “politically savvy” move to bolster his own reputation as a team player by offering…

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    A few notes on the Nationals after the team has just suffered a sweep at the hands of the Orioles… Danny Espinosa has a slight tear in his hamstring and will require four weeks to recover from the injury, Nationals manager Matt Williams told reporters, including CSN Washington’s Mark Zuckerman (Twitter link). As such, his 2015 season is over.…

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    Bryce Harper and Jonathan Papelbon had to be separated by teammates after a dugout altercation during the eighth inning of today’s game between the Nationals and Phillies.  As the MLB.com video shows, the two exchanged words before Papelbon grabbed Harper by the throat and shoved him towards the dugout wall.  The issue apparently stemmed from…

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    Nationals fans may not want to re-live the pain quite so soon, but Barry Svrluga recapped the Nats’ tumultuous 2015 season in a three-part series for the Washington Post.  The first entry focuses on the early-season hype as World Series favorites that was only slightly dimmed by several injuries and Ian Desmond‘s struggles, while the…

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    While Matt Williams is all but certain to be let go following the season, writes Jon Heyman of CBS Sports in his latest Inside Baseball column, a source close to the situation tells him that Nationals GM/president of baseball ops Mike Rizzo “isn’t going anywhere.” The ill-fated acquisition of Jonathan Papelbon and Rizzo’s backing of Williams has…

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    The Phillies haven’t won much in 2015, but they have won the race to the bottom, as Jake Kaplan of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes.  For the first time since 1998, the Phillies will pick No. 1 in the amateur draft and while there isn’t a slam-dunk top choice, it never hurts to have the top…

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    10:45am: The Nationals announced that not only has Williams been fired, but the entire coaching staff has been let go as well. Bench coach Randy Knorr, pitching coach Steve McCatty, hitting coach Rick Schu, third base coach Bobby Henley, first base coach Tony Tarasco, bullpen coach Matt LeCroy and defensive coordinator Mark Weidemaier are all…

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    Former Nationals manager Matt Williams has accepted an offer to return to his previously occupied role as third base coach of the Diamondbacks, John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 reported earlier today (via Twitter). The Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro tweets that an official announcement from the D-Backs should come on Wednesday. Williams, 49, served on the D-Backs’…

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    The Athletics have announced that Matt Williams will take over as the team’s new third base coach. He will round out the staff of manager Bob Melvin. Oakland had an opening arise when the Nationals hired away Chip Hale, who’s now the bench coach in the nation’s capital. Williams, of course, previously served as the…