Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams treated the assembled media like children on Wednesday, giving the press corps a public scolding.
Williams was unhappy after reporters inferred the Nationals would be open to sending outfielder Bryce Harper to the minors. The Washington manager admitted on a radio appearance that the team would consider sending struggling young players back to the minors. Harper, despite his potential and skill set, is a young player who has struggled this year, and some reporters tried to read between the lines and infer that Williams meant Harper could be sent down.
This made Williams a very, very unhappy man.
Harper has been slowed by injuries this season, and the numbers aren’t what you’d expect out of the 21-year-old phenom. He’s played in just 53 games and is hitting .250 with three home runs and 14 RBIs.
The outfielder’s most recent slump coincides with him questioning Williams’ lineup decisions upon returning from injury in early July. Since publicly second-guessing Williams, Harper is hitting just .211 with four RBIs. Williams also benched Harper earlier this season for a “lack of hustle.”