The Oakland Athletics have hired Ron Washington as a Major League coach, the team announced Thursday morning. Washington will join the club at Tropicana Field on Friday where he will be in uniform but not be eligible to be on the bench during games, as the A's already have the maximum eight uniformed coaches.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported earlier this week that he will serve primarily as an infield defense instructor. Washington was infield coach during most of his previous stint with the Athletics from 1997-2006. Six-time Gold Glove winner Eric Chavez credits his awards to Washington. Washington was also famed for transforming catcher Scott Hatteberg into a competent first baseman during the 2002 season in the Michael Lewis book, "Moneyball."
Washington will have the task of turning around shortstop Marcus Semien, whose 16 errors leads the American League by five. He also has a chance to work with rookies Max Muncy and Mark Canha.
Ron Washington's previous job in Major League Baseball was as manager of the Texas Rangers fro 2007-14, a team he lead 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.
Washington was serving as an assistant coach at the University of New Orleans, his home city, before the announcement.