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Reid: ‘I Feel Bad’ About the Matt Williams Firing

Reid with Harper at Nationals Park. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Reid with Harper at Nationals Park. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid was measured Monday in lamenting the tough season for the Washington Nationals that led to the firing of the entire coaching staff.  

Manager Matt Williams and his staff were let go Monday, one day after the end of a regular season that saw the team finish with an 83-79 record, miss the playoffs and fall well short of their World Series aspirations.  

“As a person, I feel bad because he’s from Carson City, Nev., and he is a UNLV baseball star,” the Nevada Democrat told CQ Roll Call of Williams. “So no, I feel bad, but you know, the Nationals didn’t do very well this year.”  

Williams played for the UNLV Rebels from 1984 to 1986, the year Reid was elected to the Senate.  

Reid, an avid baseball fan, declared at a Sept. 22 news conference that Nationals all-star outfielder (and fellow Nevadan) Bryce Harper should be the MVP of the National League, despite the team’s difficult season. Harper’s statistics back that up, making him the favorite for the award.  

But Harper’s and the rest of the team’s season ended with fireworks, perhaps the final straw in deciding Williams’s fate. The manager allowed closer Jonathan Papelbon to pitch in a recent game after a dugout confrontation in which the pitcher grabbed Harper’s throat.

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