Where Matt Williams was right…and wrong

In case you missed it Matt Williams had some very strong words for the media on Wednesday afternoon:

"I would caution everybody in this room: The minute you think you can read my freaking mind, you’re sorely mistaken. It pisses me off to even think about, that somebody would take a comment I made on the radio and infer I am thinking one way or another. I’ve had it. Don’t do it anymore. Bryce Harper is one of the guys on our team…Do we understand each other?"€

Williams’ tone reminded me of the money scene from A Few Good Men.

Williams’ words were in response to a media member trying to read between the lines of a quote Williams had made earlier in the day on a local sports-radio station. The crux of the matter was whether or not Bryce Harper should be considered for a minor-league demotion based on the tough season he’s having.

As a player for Matt Williams, you absolutely love this. Part of the manager’s job is to deflect media attention from your players whenever possible, so they can keep their focus on the field. There is no quicker way to earn your clubhouse’s respect than this. Bobby Cox did this better than anybody.

One of the most difficult parts of a rookie manager’s job is dealing with the media every day. Williams lost his cool here. He implied that he was tired of the media guessing what he might really be thinking. That was his error.

Matt Williams played for Buck Showalter for three years in Arizona, and Williams reminds me very much of a young Showalter. He is well-organized, and well- calculated in almost everything he says and does. The downside of giving the media only a little is that you open yourself up to interpretation. The media will dig and speculate, looking to get the best story. It’s just what they do, and you can’t really complain.