NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Mark Kotsay was an A’s teammate during Bobby Crosby’s 2004 AL Rookie of the Year season in Oakland.
Next year, they’ll reunite in the Coliseum dugout, with Crosby taking over A’s first-base coach duties under third-year manager Kotsay.
“I love coaching more than playing,” Crosby said in a phone interview.
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“It’s crazy, I know. I loved playing. Every day was the best. As a coach, I get to impact 27 guys on the team, whatever it is, impact every single one. You get to make a bigger impact coaching than playing.”
Kotsay agrees that Crosby hasn’t changed much since his playing days, particularly the former A’s shortstop’s upbeat personality.
“It is still that way. … Bobby comes in with a smile,” Kotsay said at this week’s MLB Winter Meetings.
“It’s exciting. Bobby is a very passionate, knowledgable coach that’s had experience with this group that’s here, managing them in Double-A for the last couple seasons. He’s going to have some influence in the clubhouse with those players — he’s got some relationships built. I’m excited about having him on the staff.”
Crosby served as the Double-A Midland Rockhounds’ manager from 2021 to 2023, overseeing a lot of the A’s youngest talent.
“I probably had almost half of these guys who are in the big leagues over the past two years,” Crosby said. “The relationship I have with those guys will tie into it, too. I know these guys, what makes them tick.”
Now, Crosby will coach at first base, but he also will do so much more than what his title entails.
“I’m actually going to be working with the outfielders, which will be a new thing,” he said. “Base-running will be part of what I do, studying pitchers, for base-stealers.”
Crosby felt lucky to have Kotsay and other veteran teammates during his MLB playing debut, and he knows Kotsay again will be there for him in his second arrival to the major leagues.
“He bust me up pretty good, you know,” Crosby said of that 2004 season with Kotsay. “But it was out of a veteran guy showing me how to do things. With guys like Jason Kendall. I learned how to be a big leaguer. As time went on, we became good buddies.”