Oakland Athletics fielding coach Ron Washington, right, poses for a photo with Elizabeth Teague, 6, of Plano, Texas, during a workout before a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, Tuesday, June 23, 2015.
ARLINGTON, Texas – Ron Washington missed the little things in his first trip back to Globe Life Park since resigning as manager last September.
Instead of pulling his car in and parking in the basement and walking right into his office, Washington had to walk in to the park from Lot J. That was a small sacrifice to pay for a man who wanted more than six months to get back into the game before getting hired as infield coach for Oakland.
And even that trek in gave Washington some time to catch up with old friends.
"My reception coming in here was always the same," Washington said. "The fans outside stopped me. Security guards inside stopped me. Guys riding around the carts stopped me. I’m excited to see the stadium. I’m excited to see the fans. I’m excited to see the players. But emotions, no I don’t have that. If I have that I don’t know where it’s at right now."
The reception for the all-time winningest manager in Texas history was limited to pregame because Washington isn’t allowed in the clubhouse because Oakland has a full coaching staff. Instead Washington watched Tuesday’s game from a suite and took notes about the six infielders he’s been charged with working with.
Oakland, which has the worst fielding percentage in the American League, needed a boost and that’s why they made the call to New Orleans and hired Washington on May 22.
While it’s not managing Washington has no complaints about his new job.
"It’s what I do, it’s what I’m an expert at, everybody in this game has expertise at something, and my expertise is infield, my expertise I feel like is in base running, my expertise is in people skills," Washington said. "We all got things that we’re good at. This right here, I’ve got the equipment for it, I’ve got the tools for it, I’ve got the knowledge for it, so I just try to share it."
Washington said he still watches Rangers games whenever he can and pulls for the club as long as they’re night playing Oakland. Washington resigned suddenly from the Rangers last Sept. 5 and then two weeks later said he broke the trusty of his wife Gerry.
Washington said Monday that his marriage is strong, his wife is doing well and he’s in a better place spiritually than when he left Texas.
He still wishes things would have ended in a different manner.
"I regret that I had to leave here, I regret that my wife had to suffer what she went through, I regret people that I love had to suffer what they went through, and I dealt with that for 7 ½, 8 months, and nobody will ever understand how much pain I was in, but I felt like I had to do what I had to do to save my marriage, and that’s what I did," Washington said.
The resignation led to Washington missing the first training in 46 years and putting his coaching future in doubt. He stayed busy by working with the University of New Orleans, an urban youth academy and traveling to Italy for a coaching camp.
He said there was no despair that he wouldn’t be able to get a job because he was in contact with people in the game throughout his time off. Whether or not this job leads to another managing spot remains to be seen but Washington is open to it.
"I think that’s going to be up to a general manager and ownership," he said. "I think my credentials are out there, just see what happens."