At Matt Williams’ introductory press conference at Nationals Park, three Nats players decided to show up to meet their new manager. Ian Desmond, Tanner Roark and Jayson Werth were all in attendance, ready to move forward with their new skipper.
But though Werth and Williams met each other for the first time that day, it was not the only time they had exchanged words. Back in June of 2011 both men were involved in an altercation between the Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks with whom Williams was the third base coach at the time.
It was the fourth and final game of the series between the two teams, on June 5, when Wilson Ramos hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning and took his time around the bases. After three hostile games between the two – including nine batters hit by pitches – Ramos decided to show off a bit and Williams took exception.
The new Nats manager stood at the top of the D-Backs bench and pointed into the opposing dugout, shouting at Ramos. Meanwhile Werth also stood up in the Nats’ dugout and yelled back at Williams. The heated exchange never reached blows, but both Werth and Williams remember it well.
Williams recalls gaining respect for both Ramos and Werth after that incident.
“I haven’t spoken to Wilson since,” Williams said. “But I can tell you this: on any given day, in any given city in any given time, something like that can happen. I love the fact that Jayson Werth stood up in the opposing dugout and yelled at me. That means that he competes. I love the fact that Wilson Ramos was upset that one of their guys got hit and he took exception. I love that fact. Doesn’t mean I don’t like the man.”