Matt Williams happy to be back home with the Diamondbacks

Feb 26, 2016, 10:11 AM | Updated: 10:24 am

Arizona Diamondbacks coach Matt Williams instructs his players during a spring training baseball pr...

Arizona Diamondbacks coach Matt Williams instructs his players during a spring training baseball practice, Monday, Feb. 22, 2016, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

LISTEN: Matt Williams, Diamondbacks third base coach

After a shaky managerial stint with the Washington Nationals, Matt Williams has returned home to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Williams was hired by the Diamondbacks in November, after being fired by the Nationals following a disappointing season.

On Friday, Williams talked with Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s Doug and Wolf about his experiences as a manager and being back with the Diamondbacks.

“I’m excited. It has been a lot of fun and I’m excited to be here,” Williams said.

Williams first joined the Diamondbacks on Dec. 1, 1997 after being traded by the Cleveland Indians. In 2001, he batted .275 with 16 home runs and drove in 65 runs as the D-backs went onto post a 92-70 record, winning the National League West and defeating the New York Yankees in seven games for their first and only World Series championship.

After retiring as a player in 2003, Williams went onto serve in various roles for the Diamondbacks, eventually ending up as third base coach before leaving in 2014 to become manager of the Nationals.

However, his time as a manager was an up and down cycle. In 2014, Williams helped guide the Nationals to the best record in the National League (96-66) before falling in the NLDS to eventual World Series champion, San Francisco Giants.

Last year, the Nationals entered the season heavily favored to win the World Series, especially after signing free agent pitcher and former Diamondback Max Scherzer in the offseason. But struggles down the stretch and in-house fighting between closer Jonathan Papelbon and NL MVP Bryce Harper doomed Williams’ fate.

“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,” Williams said of the experience of being a manager.  “That is a part of the business of being a professional coach, it’s a part of being a professional player and a manager. 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.”

In the meantime, Williams said he’s enjoying himself and is proud to be back and be a part of the Diamondbacks’ organization.

“This place is special,” he said.  “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.”

Arizona Diamondbacks

Gabriel Moreno #14 of the Arizona Diamondbacks gets ready in the batters box against the Milwaukee ...

Alex Weiner

D-backs catcher Gabriel Moreno learning on the job, Carson Kelly nears return

D-backs catchers Gabriel Moreno and Jose Herrera have held down the fort with Carson Kelly on the 60-day injured list.

19 hours ago

Eddie Rosario #8 of the Atlanta Braves hits a grand slam against the Arizona Diamondbacks during th...

Arizona Sports

D-backs’ bullpen falters late in rubber match with Braves

Miguel Castro's blown save cost the Arizona Diamondbacks a series victory against the Atlanta Braves at Chase Field.

2 days ago

Starting pitcher Merrill Kelly #29 of the Arizona Diamondbacks is removed by manager Torey Lovullo ...

Alex Weiner

Dark 2021 season continues to motivate newly-extended Torey Lovullo, D-backs

Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said after agreeing to an extension he learned from 2021 and uses that season as a motivator.

19 hours ago

Manager Torey Lovullo #17 of the Arizona Diamondbacks talks with home plate umpire Lance Barksdale ...

Arizona Sports

D-backs manager Torey Lovullo at peace with 1-year extensions

Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said he is out to prove himself every year, even if he would love to stay with Arizona long term.

2 days ago

Josh Rojas #10 of the Arizona Diamondbacks is tagged out by Sean Murphy #12 of the Atlanta Braves a...

Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks out-executed by Braves, win streak snapped

Atlanta ended Arizona's six-game winning streak with a 5-2 victory, one in which Spencer Strider tossed six innings with two earned runs.

2 days ago

Manager Torey Lovullo #17 of the Arizona Diamondbacks looks out to the pitchers mound against the C...

Alex Weiner

D-backs extend manager Torey Lovullo through 2024 season

The Arizona Diamondbacks and manager Torey Lovullo agreed to a one-year contract extension through the 2024 season.

2 days ago

Matt Williams happy to be back home with the Diamondbacks