The A’s fired third-base coach Mike Gallego on Monday and replaced him with Ron Washington, who has been working with the team since May as a special infield instructor.
It’s a shakeup that comes on the heels of the A’s having two base runners thrown out at home during a series against the Tampa Bay Rays, as well as other mishaps on the bases over the course of this season.
Washington served as the A’s third base and infield coach from 1997-2006 before leaving to become manager of the Texas Rangers. Presumably, he will also assume Gallego’s full-time role as infield coach. Upon Washington’s hiring in May, a press release labeled him as a “major league coach” at that time. Because all of the A’s full-time coaching positions were full, Washington was allowed to work on the field with players before games but could not be in the dugout during games.
Most of his time has been spent working with first-year A’s shortstop Marcus Semien, who leads all major league defenders with 31 errors but has shown flashes of improvement since Washington has come on board.
Gallego’s firing cuts the A’s ties to a man whose entire major league career – playing and coaching – is identified by his time in green and gold. He was drafted by the A’s as a middle infielder in 1981 out of UCLA and spent 12 years of his big league playing career with Oakland, including contributing to three consecutive World Series appearances from 1988-90.
He was in his seventh season on the A’s major league coaching staff after joining then-manager Bob Geren’s staff in 2009. Only first base coach Tye Waller had more continuous seasons on the A’s staff.
For Washington, it’s his first return to a major league coaching staff since he resigned as Rangers manager late in the 2014 season. Later, he disclosed that he resigned because he had an extramarital affair. His time as Rangers manager was also marked in 2010 by an admission of cocaine use. But he left Texas as the club’s all-time winningest manager and having guided the Rangers to the World Series in both 2010 and 2011.
The release that announced Gallego’s firing included no comments from anyone in the front office. It’s assumed that manager Bob Melvin will address the move before Monday night’s game at Seattle.