Papelbon? He came over to Washington for the stretch run, assumed the closer duties, and came up small in the biggest of spots.
So what in the name of Grover Cleveland Alexander gave him the right to go after the league's best player? Because Harper didn't run out a routine pop-up? The fact that Papelbon's a veteran and Harper is still just 22?
I don't think so.
And then there's Matt Williams, the club's manager. Some will point to how he is the reigning Manager of the Year and couldn't have gotten stupid overnight.
Well, that award is more a reflection of how a team wins more games than expected than the expertise of a particular manager. I can recall when Bill Virdon, one of the nicest guys in baseball, won the award with the '74 Yankees for a surprisingly good second place finish. But it was well-documented how that team ignored some of what he said, going so far as to create their own signs in the field. The next season, Virdon was replaced by Billy Martin.
Williams, an otherwise good baseball man, needs to go, too--if only to find another team where he can start over with. He lost that Nats' clubhouse early this season and only remained in his job this long because of the futility of the division until the Mets got hot.
Yesterday was the final straw. Williams claims he didn't see what happened in the dugout when Paplebon launched himself at the presumed MVP. The reality is that Williams hasn't seen much of what's happened in that dugout all year.
Papelbon has thrown his last pitch for the Nats--maybe even his career. Williams' days with the Nats should be over as well. Harper? He should remain the face of the Nats' franchise.