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Nats Fire Farm Director

The Washington Nationals on Friday fired director of player development Bobby Williams, general manager Mike Rizzo said. The departure of Williams, completing his third year overseeing the organization's farm system, represents the first significant front office change under Rizzo, who was given full-time GM job on August 20.

Williams had a longstanding relationship with former general manager Jim Bowden, which led to his first job in pro baseball and, later, his first job with Washington. Williams had graduated from Rollins College, Bowden's alma mater, and later wrote application letters for jobs with every organization in baseball. He heard back from just one man, Bowden, who offered Williams a coaching job with Cincinnati's rookie-level affiliate, the Billings Mustangs.

Williams joined the Nationals in 2005, first managing Class A Vermont, then in 2006 managing Class A Savannah. He was placed in charge of the farm system in March 2007.

Under Williams' watch, Washington had several strong drafts, and its minor league system produced numerous pitching prospects -- but few promising position players.

By Chico Harlan  |  September 5, 2009; 1:59 PM ET
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seems like a fall guy for years of neglect that has led to a barren system except for pitchers.

Posted by: surly_w | September 5, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Kind of late ... he's a Bowden guy, plus his asst. seems more capable? And who knows what the responsibilities will be for Rizzo's new asst. GM?

Posted by: periculum | September 5, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Seems like Rizzo is building own organization. Sounds very good to me.

Posted by: soundbloke | September 5, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

This is why I hate FOX Saturday baseball. A game with major NL wild card implications is being played in Milwaukee and we get the Rangers-AngelO's game. BTW - it must be a record that Chico posted this just before 2 p.m. and the first comment isn't until after 4 p.m. Holiday weekend for ya.

Posted by: leetee1955 | September 5, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse


Reading this item, someone might get the impression that Williams - not Segway Boy or Rizzo - made the draft picks.

Posted by: leetee1955 | September 5, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

(Sigh). Guess I'll head out to the park. Boy, I miss Nyjer...Nats could win a game before October, couldn't they?

Posted by: Nats_Lady | September 5, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo needs to just clean house. There should be no further connection to the MLB control, and few connections, by extention, to Jim Bowden.

This is DC's team, not MLB/Milwaukee's. They should take control, and build a winner. Spit in the Commish's eye, if necessary.


Posted by: kevincostello | September 5, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

(Sigh). Guess I'll head out to the park. Boy, I miss Nyjer...Nats could win a game before October, couldn't they?

Posted by: Nats_Lady | September 5, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I'll see you there, Nats Lady.

Posted by: thepostischeap | September 5, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo has been undraveling every move jimbo ever made since the day he took the job and this no different.

Jimbo was an idiot and Rizzo does not have confidence in a single decision jimbo made.

Dukes may be the only jimbo guy left standing.

Who made the decision to draft Flores in the Rule 5? Basically who deserves the credit for that move.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | September 6, 2009 1:16 AM | Report abuse

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