The Athletics are considering reuniting with Ron Washington as a special infield defense instructor, according to an exclusive report by Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Slusser reports that the A's do not intend to make any changes to the on field staff, with Mike Gallego remaining third base and infield coach.
Ron Washington has made known his desire to get back into coaching at the major league level, telling the New Orleans Advocate in a March 10 article, "My whole presence is just to help, and I have a passion for baseball. ... So, if that's managing, certainly. If that's as a third base coach, certainly. If it's a roving instructor, wherever the game has to offer, I have something to offer the game."
Previously serving as A's first base coach in 1996, and from 1997-2006 as the club's third base and infield coach, Washington departed the A's to become the Texas Rangers manager from 2007-2014, where he led that team to three postseason appearances and two American League pennants. Washington resigned from the Texas Rangers last September to address what he called "an off-the-field personal matter" and which the Rangers said was unrelated to his past cocaine use. In a post-resignation press announcement, Washington acknowledged being unfaithful to his wife.
Ron Washington's defensive coaching was documented in "Moneyball," the book by Michael Lewis, where Washington transformed catcher Scott Hatteberg into a quality first baseman:
A large part of the change was due to Wash. Wash got inside your head because---well, because you wanted wanted Wash inside your head. Every play Hatty made, including throws he took from other infielders, he came back to the dugout and discussed with Wash. His coach was creating an alternative scale on which Hatty could judge his performance. He might be an absolute D but on Wash's curve he felt like a B, and rising. ... Wash was helping him to fool himself, to make him feel better than he was, until he actually became better than he was.
Besides Hatteberg, other former Athletics are effusive with praise for Washington. In Susan Slusser's recently released book, "100 Things A's Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die," Slusser writes that Chavez felt he owed his six Gold Gloves with the Athletics to Washington, giving him his 2004 trophy and presenting him with a duplicate after the original was damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
Washington is currently an assistant coach at the University of New Orleans, according to Slusser.