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Heads are starting to roll.........

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The regular season in baseball is over. Playoffs begin Tuesday. Also-rans are already cutting dead weight.

In Washington, that means the Nationals weren't wasting any time bidding farewell to Matt Williams, one year removed from Manager of the Year. Unfortunately, the brain-dead decision making that cost him the NLDS vs. San Francisco last year ultimately did him in this year. A blind man could see this coming as soon as the Nationals were overtaken by the Mets.

Think for a second. The Mets were picked by most to finish 2nd or 3rd, in contention at least for a wild card, while everyone and his brother picked Washington to run and hide in the NL East. A combination of injuries to key players (Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth, and Bryce Harper all missed significant chunks of time) and Willians' deer-in-the-headlights approach to managing resulted in the failure to meet overblown expectations. The entire coaching staff was sacked as well, which would allow the new skipper to have his own crew next spring.

I don't think the blood letting is done. Yes, San Diego got a head start by dumping interim manager Pat Murphy Sunday night, a painful reminder that the Padres had spent money hoping for a playoff contender, and wound up underachieving. Badly.

So, who else is going to be gone? Since Williams & Murphy were the only ones announced as of this writing, it allows me to speculate.....

Fredi Gonzalez. Atlanta: Williams wasn't alone in making bone-head plays in the dugout, especially against the Mets. The late season floppini's of both the Braves & Nats were proof that over-managing, relying on matchups late in the game in particular, don't always work, and when it fails, it fails spectacularly. In fact, Gonzalez copied some of Williams' moves, and of course it backfired on him!

Bryan Price, Cincinnati: I get the whole rationale behind the Reds promoting Price, a pitching coach, to manager, copying the success John Farrell enjoyed after returning to Boston. Unfortunately, Price demonstrated that he was in over his head at times.

Joe Girardi, Yankees: If anyone can offer sympathy for Williams' sitch, it's Girardi, who was dumped in Miami after winning Manager of the Year there, then won a World Series with the Yankees. However, this season, the Bombers, expected by most to finish 4th, finished 2nd instead behind Toronto and earned a wild card, but staggered to the finish, losing six of seven in the final week. Injuries play a role, of course, and the older stars (A-Rod, Sabathia, Teixiera) are either injured now or are out of fuel, meaning the Yankees could be 1-&-done, losing to Houston in the Wild Card round, and running the string of non-title years to six. Would the Steinbrenner brothers have the patience to keep Girardi around for another year? Or is it finally time to turn the page and move on? We'll see.

In the NFL, Miami sacked Joe Philbin after losing to the Jets in London on Sunday. 1-3 is not where the Dolphins wanted to be, and everyone assumed they'd be closer to front-running New England than they are. Instead, they sit in the basement, 0-2 in the AFC East (losing to the Jets & Buffalo), unlikely to move. I'd be surprised, though, if there are any more early dismissals. Owners are pushing the panic button too soon in the NFL, IMPO, and any other firings won't come until January.

When you stop & think about it, part of the reason New England is almost assured of a playoff spot every year is the Keystone Kops-style bumbling of the teams in their division.

As of right now, though, I don't see anyone else in a position to be sacked too early. Of course, I could be wrong.


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