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Washington Makes Debut in Oakland

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    PHOENIX, AZ: Third Base Coach Ron Washington of the Oakland Athletics poses for a portrait during Photo Day on February 27, 2006, at Papago Park in Phoenix. (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

    Ron Washington might have had his thunder stolen on Monday by the return to the Rangers by former MVP-turned-Public Enemy No. 1 Josh Hamilton, but the former Rangers skipper and the winningest all-time manager in franchise history made his return to the majors over the weekend and his home debut on Monday as a member of the coaching staff in Oakland.

    Washington was hired last week as a defensive consultant by the Rangers' AL West rival A's, just months after he abruptly resigned as the Rangers manager last September — later saying he stepped down after betraying his wife's trust.

    "I'm having a lot of fun. I'm blessed," Washington told the Associated Press Monday in Oakland. "Every day is my future. This is exactly where I started."

    Washington is being tasked with helping improve Bob Melvin's club's defense, which leads all of baseball with 46 errors this season and has played a major role in Oakland's slide to last place in the division.

    Washington has always hung his hat on his team's defense and his developing of middle infielders, in particular. Oakland shortstop Marcus Semien has a league-high 16, and Melvin said he's looking forward to seeing what Washington can do with his team's collective defense.

    With Washington on the coaching staff, Oakland led the league in fielding in 2004 and 2005 and was second in 2006.

    ''It's always nice to have somebody from the outside come in and not being a part of that and add some energy to it," Melvin told reporters. "He's always that way no matter where his teams were. With where our team is right now, he's going to be positive and energetic."