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D-backs' Williams to manage AFL's Rafters

PHOENIX -- D-backs third-base coach Matt Williams will manage the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League this year.

Williams, who has been on the D-backs' coaching staff since 2010, served a pair of stints as interim manager during the '07 season.

During the regular season, he filled in for Double-A Mobile manager Brett Butler, who fell ill, and later that year managed the Scottsdale Scorpions in the AFL while Chip Hale finished up his duties as third-base coach for the D-backs in the playoffs.

A former All-Star player, Williams aspires to manage in the big leagues.

"I've been thinking about that for a long time, but you need to be prepared," he said. "This will give me an opportunity to experience some of that and further prepare myself in case that opportunity ever arises."

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson has been supportive of Williams' career goal.

"It's great," Gibson said of Williams managing in the Fall League. "We've talked about that since the first day that I've been on the job. He's a good baseball man and I would encourage him to pursue that. We have conversations about it like how would you get there? Fall ball will be great, it will great for the kids. He's very talented at what he does and he's put his time in, and that's one of the things he needs to do."

Gibson did have one request of Williams, as the Rafters play at Salt River Fields, where the D-backs hold Spring Training.

"He'll have to make sure to keep my office clean," Gibson said.

PHOENIX -- D-backs third-base coach Matt Williams will manage the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League this year.

Williams, who has been on the D-backs' coaching staff since 2010, served a pair of stints as interim manager during the '07 season.

During the regular season, he filled in for Double-A Mobile manager Brett Butler, who fell ill, and later that year managed the Scottsdale Scorpions in the AFL while Chip Hale finished up his duties as third-base coach for the D-backs in the playoffs.

A former All-Star player, Williams aspires to manage in the big leagues.

"I've been thinking about that for a long time, but you need to be prepared," he said. "This will give me an opportunity to experience some of that and further prepare myself in case that opportunity ever arises."

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson has been supportive of Williams' career goal.

"It's great," Gibson said of Williams managing in the Fall League. "We've talked about that since the first day that I've been on the job. He's a good baseball man and I would encourage him to pursue that. We have conversations about it like how would you get there? Fall ball will be great, it will great for the kids. He's very talented at what he does and he's put his time in, and that's one of the things he needs to do."

Gibson did have one request of Williams, as the Rafters play at Salt River Fields, where the D-backs hold Spring Training.

"He'll have to make sure to keep my office clean," Gibson said.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.