The dust is still settling after the Arizona Diamondbacks changed the complexion of their front office last weekend by hiring legendary manager Tony La Russa as the team’s new chief baseball officer.
Part of that settling has to do with clarification of roles for those that were in the front office already — namely the duties of general manager Kevin Towers, who is currently on a scouting trip in Alabama.
“I haven’t had a great deal of time, because I’ve been out on this scouting trip, to really find out what my true responsibilities are,” Towers told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday. “I’m under the assumption that really the only thing that’s changed is now I report to Tony as opposed to (president and CEO) Derrick (Hall) when it comes to baseball moves.
“Until I really get more time to sit down with Tony to really find out structure, process, reporting and job responsibilities, I’m taking the high road and looking at this as hopefully a good thing for the organization.”
Towers has been on the job since late September 2010, and helped construct a squad that won the National League West in 2011. However, the Diamondbacks had back-to-back 81-81 campaigns in 2012 and 2013, and are 11 games under .500 this season.
Many feel that the move to hire La Russa is a demotion of sorts for Towers, but the veteran GM doesn’t necessarily feel that way.
“I have a lot of confidence in my ability to be a GM and I think that if Tony gets an opportunity to spend some more time around me, he’ll see that he’s got a very qualified GM that’s in the organization with him,” he said. “I’ll bet on myself on it. Certainly I won’t be making the decision on my fate.
“All I want to do is engage in baseball conversations and I think he’ll see that he’s got a good baseball man leading the organization right now.”
On Doug and Wolf’s Tuesday show, Hall said Towers was in the loop on the La Russa hiring. Towers confirmed that Wednesday.
“They said they had talked about bringing somebody in up above. He had floated a couple names to me and with a couple, I said ‘if that’s the case, count me out, I don’t want to be here,'” Towers said. “La Russa’s name came up. I’ve known Tony since the late 90s and I talked to him a lot when I hired Dave Stewart to be a special assistant. Through Stew, I got to know Tony pretty well.
“I knew Tony as well as any opposing manager that there was in the game and I always had a lot of respect for him.”
For Towers, right now it’s business as usual and he’s hoping his duties and responsibilities don’t change much.
“I certainly don’t want to be a pseudo-GM,” he said. “The front office role will be new to him and I’m hoping I can help him too, like the daily calendar and what’s important in June and July. These are some of the good players in our system — no different from what Jerry Dipoto did for me in my first year here.
“I’m hoping that we help one another and as we get to talk that he’ll have the confidence in the very near future to let me run the club as I have been but everything will go through him and be shared with him. You’d like to think that our vision and everything is on the same page.”