The Arizona Diamondbacks’ woeful start necessitated change.
That change was made earlier this month when the organization brought in legendary manager Tony La Russa to serve as the team’s first-ever chief baseball officer.
In the days following the hiring, team president and CEO Derrick Hall told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM that there were a couple of other names considered.
“I even tossed a couple of names by (GM) Kevin (Towers) because he’s the type of person you can do that with,” Hall said. “He even came in one day and said ‘of all the names you’ve given me, Tony La Russa I strongly endorse’ and he gave a thumbs up.”
Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com has revealed a couple of the others that were considered for posts in the Diamondbacks’ front office: Larry Beinfest and John Hart.
Hart, now a special advisor for the Braves, is a longtime friend of D-backs managing general partner Ken Kendrick. He had no intention of leaving the Braves and merely served as a sounding board for the D-backs, sources said.
Beinfest, on the other hand, presumably would have replaced GM Kevin Towers, unless the Diamondbacks planned to award him the same title as La Russa. Towers, for now, remains the D-backs GM.
Beinfest served as Marlins’ GM from 2002 to 2007, at which time he was promoted to the position of president of baseball operations. He was fired in September of 2013, but gained a solid reputation around baseball for building competitive rosters with small payrolls.
Hart, 65, became the general manager of the Cleveland Indians in 1991 and would hold the position for the next decade. He became the GM of the Texas Rangers in 2002 and stepped down in 2005. He took a position as a senior baseball consultant with the Atlanta Braves in November of 2013.
“He’s somebody that we’ve known for a long time and we were just talking to him about our situation, not about coming over here,” Hall told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Thursday.