REPORT: Williams Chastises Errant Media Member

  • Ralph Thompson Jr
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On Wednesday, CSN Washington’s Mark Zuckerman reported on a couple of exchanges Washington manager Matt Williams had with D.C. area media.

Earlier in the day, Williams had his weekly interview session with on-air staff at 106.7 FManswered some questions from on-air staff at 106.7 FM. During his interview, Williams was asked about the possibility of demoting struggling left fielder Bryce Harper to AAA Syracuse to get his hitting back on track. Williams respectfully addressed the question by stating Harper was a key part of the major league club. The manager also stated Harper is working diligently to get out of his slump. Furthermore, Williams stated because of the differences between AAA pitching and major league pitching, Harper has a better chance to get out of his slump with the Nationals.

Later, as Williams had his customary pre-game press conference at the ballpark, a media member referenced the radio interview. That media member focused on the section of the radio interview that addressed the possibility of Harper being demoted.

Williams was not impressed with the inference, and said so. Here’s a quote:

“I will caution everybody in this room: The minute you think you can read my freaking mind, you’re sorely mistaken, OK?” Williams said when asked if a Harper demotion is within the realm of possibility right now. “It [ticks] me off to even think about the fact that somebody would take a comment I make on the radio and infer that I’m thinking one way or the other. I’ve had it. Don’t do it any more.”

That’s a lesson to all of us who watch sports and comment on what we thought we saw/heard/understood – context is so important. In the rush to post, any of us can trip up over what we thought we heard. Williams’ comments in both sessions were direct, but not mean-spirited. He’s defending a struggling player, which any manager should do.  For us as fans and media, “listen up” continues to be sound advice.





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