Admit it, you’ve thought about it.
When the Arizona Diamondbacks hired Tony La Russa as their new chief baseball officer in Mid-May, the thought crossed your mind that the third-winningest manager in the history of the sport would come down into the dugout to skipper the team.
When the Diamondbacks released a season ticket renewal video on their official website with La Russa depicted in uniform, you probably thought about it even more.
Club president and CEO Derrick Hall is here to erase that thought from your mind.
“No,” Hall said emphatically when asked by Doug and Wolf Thursday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM if he got the idea La Russa wanted to manage again. “Tony’s finished, he likes his new role in the front office.
“It’s difficult when you go into the Hall of Fame as a manager — and I had those conversations with Tommy Lasorda years ago, because there was talk of him maybe going to another team and managing. And Tommy felt at the time ‘I really can’t, because I’ve been inducted into the Hall of Fame and once you’re enshrined as a manager, your career is supposed to be over.
“I know that Tony’s days as a manager are over — he wanted to finish on top and he did. Now he’s in this new role and again, he wants to get on top and eventually finish on top there, too. He’s determined and he’s motivated by that.”
La Russa, who was just inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame last month, last managed in the Major Leagues in 2011, when he led the St. Louis Cardinals to a seven-game World Series triumph over the Texas Rangers. It was La Russa’s third World Series win as a field manager.
“I think he’s enjoying this new role. I don’t think he has any desire to get back in uniform but, on the flip side, he has a strong desire to heavily influence in a positive way those that are wearing the uniform, be it (Kirk Gibson) or any of our minor league managers,” Hall said. “He’s really looking forward to getting started on that as soon as the season is over.
“He’s already given me a game plan on what he’s going to do at the instructional league, where he’s going to bring all our uniformed personnel in and have an organizational meeting and start to teach what his philosophy is and the way that we can win at every single level and how we can have a true D-back way.”