Mark Kotsay is headed back to Oakland to be the Athletics’ new bench coach! And I couldn’t be more excited! I have been as I like to say – a HUGE “Marky K” (we had Mark Ellis during part of Kotsay’s time with Oakland) fan! HUGE! I love this guy!!
It is clear that the A’s really are trying to reshape the clubhouse and get the chemistry back that was lost in 2015. Some of the new players I guess just didn’t mesh well with the rest of the club, there could have been some issues with coaching – we will likely never know all the details that went on inside the A’s organization in 2015 but I don’t care!
It’s a new year, a new season and it’s time for a new look A’s team from the coaches on down! Kotsay, who is just 39 and only three years away from his playing days, has always been considered manager material. He has one-year experience as the San Diego Padres hitting coach but the thought is that since he has always had great leadership skills and is close to the players age, etc. that he will be the perfect person to help right the ship when it comes to clubhouse chemistry.
Personally, I’m not huge on clubhouse chemistry as being the reason teams win. The A’s losses last season were mainly due to their bullpen, however, if the chemistry is just plain bad – well then I see where that can make a difference.
A’s manager Bob Melvin will make an excellent mentor to Kotsay as he has mentored other MLB skippers including Bryan Price of the Cincinnati Reds, the Milwaukee Brewers’ Craig Counsell and most recently A’s former bench coach Chip Hale who is now the skipper of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
This is a match made in heaven – at especially for an A’s fan! Kotsay has long been one of my favorite players and was a key piece to the 2006 team that went all the way to the American League Championship Series (only to lose to the damn Detroit Tigers as usual). Despite that ALCS loss, it was still a big achievement for a team that usually finds themselves out after the first round of the playoffs and it was a very fun, amazing season.
I couldn’t be any happier or more excited than to have Kotsay back with Oakland!