Matt Williams is happy to be back with the Diamondbacks.
The 2001 World Series champion and former Nationals manager was bought in as the team’s third base coach in November. On Friday, he praised the organization, specifically Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa.
“This place is special,” Williams told Arizonasports.com of the Diamondbacks organization. “You can walk upstairs and you have World Series champions, a manager [Tony La Russa] who is the chief officer of baseball that has won the World Series and has been there and done it and you can pick brains and that’s a lot of fun.”
He also chimed in on his time managing the Nationals. Despite the end result, Williams said he learned valuable lessons.
“You never know until you are in a situation in how you are going to react to it and what are you going to do. That is a part of the business of being a professional coach, it’s a part of being a professional player and a manager,” Williams said in the interview. “I learned some valuable lessons. Sometimes you have to answer the question that isn’t asked, just to get in front of something, whatever it is. I learned a lot.”
Williams served as Nationals manager during the past two seasons. He went 96-66 in 2014, winning NL Manager of the Year, but failed to meet expectations last year and was fired after the Nationals went 83-79.
Prior to managing, Williams played 17 years in the majors from 1987-2003, including six seasons with the Diamondbacks. He had previously served as a Diamondbacks assistant coach from 2010-2013 before taking the Washington job.