It was only a matter of time of time before the struggling Arizona Diamondbacks shook things up. They took the first momentous step in that process on Saturday, appointing former four-time Manager of the Year Tony La Russa as their new Chief Baseball Officer.
According to CEO Derrick Hall, La Russa will oversee the team's baseball operations department and will immediately begin evaluating the team's current structure and work to determine what changes need to be made. In other words, changes will be forthcoming.
"The entire organization is obviously frustrated with the results on the field and we are looking to improve," Hall said. "Tony brings us a wealth of knowledge, experience and success, and will work closely with Kevin [Towers] and Kirk [Gibson] in evaluating our current state to determine the future of our baseball operations. He is excited and enthusiastic about the challenge, and we are fortunate to have this Hall of Famer on board and a part of the team."
La Russa, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this summer, was reportedly eyeing the Seattle Mariners' team president vacancy during the offseason, which gave us an indication he was determined to get back in the game at some level. Now he'll bring his 53 years of baseball experience to Arizona, where he'll reunite with longtime friend and pitching coach Dave Duncan, who is already serving as a pitching adviser.
La Russa will be second in the team's pecking order to Hall, which means Towers, the general manager, will report directly to him going forward. Of course, there's some speculation already that Towers won't be long for that position, the assumption being La Russa will want to restructure the organization with people he knows and trusts, such as Duncan. That may or may not bode well for Gibson, the team's manager, but a bigger shake up is inevitable with Arizona sitting at 16-28.
In fact, the clock is already ticking, and it looks like La Russa is ready to get to work.
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