I know what you’re thinking. I haven’t heard of all organizations having the position of chief baseball officer. Well, when you have a chance to add one of baseball’s greatest all-time managers to your front office, you do what the Arizona Diamondbacks did. They created the position of chief baseball officer for Tony La Russa. Thus, a new era in Diamondbacks baseball will begin.
With Tony La Russa now on board, Arizona could be in for a shake-up of massive proportions. Maybe not so much as looking for someone to replace manager Kirk Gibson and/or GM Kevin Towers, but the rattling could come more from within its culture. We all know La Russa will not stand for losses, especially when they tend to come in bunches. That has certainly been the case with Arizona this season.
La Russa’s role entails the oversight of the team’s entire baseball operations. Rest assured, La Russa will leave no stone unturned. He’s had a little training since leaving the occupation of manager after the St. Louis Cardinals won the 2011 World Series. He spent time working under Joe Torre for the Commissioner’s Office. He also spent a spring with the Detroit Tigers front office. While it doesn’t appear to be all that much, the winning experience itself is extremely valuable.
So exactly why did La Russa take this position? He says he was bored. I’m sure he’ll find a few things to do in Arizona.
La Russa will report to CEO and team president Derrick Hall, but I have a feeling Hall may be looking more to La Russa rather than the other way around.
Even though La Russa received a multi-year deal, there is an out. According to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY, La Russa’s investment group is still looking into purchasing a team. Should that come to fruition, La Russa will be released from this deal.
Earlier this year, the Seattle Mariners were pursuing La Russa for a front office position. The M’s were in the process of replacing outgoing team president Chuck Armstrong, and La Russa was reportedly on their short list..