Editor's note: The above video is from Ron Washington taking over as the A's third base coach on Aug. 24, 2015.
As passionate as Ron Washington is about coaching infielders, he also has a burning desire for another major league managing opportunity.
That was one of many interesting tidbits the A’s third base coach shared with me in the latest edition of the “A’s Insider Podcast,” which you can find now at CSNCalifornia.com.
Asked if he’d like another shot at managing, Washington didn’t hesitate.
“Without a doubt, I would,” Washington said. “We’ll see what happens. But right now, I’m focused on trying to help the Oakland A’s get back on track. Mainly try to help us become one of the premier defensive teams in the game. I certainly would like to be back (in charge) in the dugout again. There’s no doubt about it.”
Washington went 664-611 (.521) in eight seasons managing the Texas Rangers from 2007-14, winning more games than any skipper in the franchise’s history. His run included back-to-back trips to the World Series in 2010 and 2011. Washington, now 63, resigned in September 2014 for personal reasons, but he joined the A’s coaching staff last season and was named the full-time third base and infield coach in August (a position he also held with the A’s before leaving for Texas).
He remains one of the game’s most respected infield instructors, and his passion in that area shines through during the podcast interview. Among other highlights:
-- Washington thinks highly touted third base prospect Matt Chapman is Major League-ready right now on the defensive side. Chapman was the talk of A’s spring camp, leading the team in homers and RBI, and he began this season in Double-A Midland. He’s starting just his second full professional season and turns 23 later this month. Chapman is part of a group of A’s position player prospects that’s considered the organization’s best in a couple of decades.
“He has a tremendous ceiling, there’s no telling how far he could go,” Washington said of Chapman. “He could play defense up here at the major league level right now. But I do think he needs to continue to gain experience, and I think if anything happened up here and we needed to fill that spot at third base, I don’t think this organization would hesitate to bring him up here.”
-- Washington talks at length during our chat about shortstop Marcus Semien, the work they’ve done together since Washington arrived last season, and the daily reminders he still plants in Semien’s ear about playing short.
“That Marcus Semien you guys saw in April and all the way to the middle of May (last season), he’s long gone,” Washington said. “He’s a kid that can apply. You give him information and he’ll apply it.”