Jerry Reinsdorf calls Jay Mariotti a pissant… again

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Nothing like kicking a man when he’s down. But it is Jay Mariotti, after all.
White Sox and Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf was on a panel with Cubs owner Tom Ricketts on Friday at a WGN Radio event called “The Business of Sports” when asked about the former Sun-Times writer.
As the Tribune quotes:
“Jay Mariotti was and is a pissant,” Reinsdorf said as the place filled with laughter. “A lot of the people who were laughing here probably have no idea what that means. You can look it up in the dictionary; it has a very definite meaning.”
We’re sure it does, but we’ll just assume that it’s not a very nice thing to say about someone. Nor was it particularly nice the first time he said it a couple of years ago.

I was pleased. Honestly, it was not a big thing in my life. I mean, he’s a piss ant. Jay Mariotti, he never really affected me, and he certainly didn’t affect the opinions of our fans. When you take a negative guy like that out of the mix it’s a positive. I don’t mind him writing negative things as long as it’s a legitimate opinion. He had a habit of writing things that just weren’t true. That was the annoying thing about him.

Regardless, for someone having no significance at all, Mariotti managed to get under Reinsdorf’s skin to the point at which he’s still talking about him years later. And that was a big part of Mariotti’s goal in the first place.

Athletics hire third base coach Matt Williams

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The Athletics have hired former MLB manager Matt Williams, the team announced Friday. Williams will take over third base coaching duties under manager Bob Melvin, filling the vacancy left by Nationals’ bench coach Chip Hale after the 2017 season.

Williams is no stranger to the Bay Area, but this will be his first time sporting the green and gold. He got his start in pro ball with the rival Giants in 1987, where he manned third base and collected four All-Star nominations before jumping ship to the American League in 1997. After a one-year stint in the Indians’ organization, he returned to the NL to finish off his 17-season career and eventually hung up his cleats with the Diamondbacks in 2003.

Post-retirement, Williams has crafted a resume that almost over-qualifies him for a coaching gig. He led the Nationals to a cumulative 179-145 record from 2014 to 2015 and earned props as NL Manager of the Year after bringing the team to a first-place finish in 2014. In 2016, he split the season as a first and third base coach in the D-backs’ organization, then accepted a studio analyst position with the Giants for the 2017 season. Although he has yet to suit up for the Athletics in any role, he’s not unfamiliar with skipper Bob Melvin. The two were teammates on the Giants’ 1987-88 roster and spent some time in Arizona together when Melvin took a coaching job there in the early 2000s.

While next year’s reunion will be fun to watch (unless, I suppose, you’re a Giants fan with a long memory), Williams may not have his sights set on a coaching role forever. As the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea reported back in July, the 51-year-old knows what it feels like to win as a manager, and it’s a position he might be open to pursuing in the future.

“For me, my most comfortable space is in uniform,” he told Shea. “I’ve done the ownership thing and front-office stuff, and that’s fun. The most gratification I get is swinging a fungo and throwing batting practice and being on the field. It’s what you know and love. I look at myself as a teacher first and foremost. At the end of the day, I think that’s how I have my greatest influence.”