Prior to the National League’s win last night Tony La Russa was asked if being back in the dugout had him thinking about possibly coming out of retirement, but his response to “is this a one-time thing?” left no doubt that he’s done managing:
Absolutely. I don’t believe that. I know that. I don’t think the commissioner is going to make this a yearly thing, where I’m going to manage the All-Star game. I think it’s one and out.
So if managing again isn’t an option, what is La Russa going to be doing with his time at age 67?
The commissioner’s keeping me busy. But someday, I’ll work in somebody’s [front] office, because I like winning and losing.
Well, mostly winning.
In the meantime he’s reportedly earning $2.5 million per year as a special advisor to Bud Selig, Joe Torre, and Major League Baseball, which isn’t a bad way to spend “retirement.”
Yankees’ special advisor and former outfielder Hideki Matsui expects to help the club “convince or recruit” Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani, according to a report from MLB.com’s Deesha Thosar. The Yankees are currently viewed as the favorites to sign Otani, though there still figures to be plenty of competition for his services when he finally becomes eligible to enter Major League Baseball.
Matsui also told Thosar that while he hasn’t seen a player find success as a hybrid pitcher/slugger in the majors, he’s taken notice of Otani’s success in both areas. “He’s done well in Japan, so as a baseball fan I’m looking forward to how he’s going to do here in the Majors and in the U.S.,” Matsui said, later adding, “If [pitching and hitting is] something he wants to do, and the team wants it, then why not?”
Neither the Yankees nor any other suitor should be too concerned with Otani’s ability to translate his .332 batting average and 3.20 ERA to MLB — at least, not just yet. There are still a few roadblocks in his path to the major leagues, most notably the lack of approval from the Players Association. Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the union doesn’t want to sign off on an agreement that would give the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20 million posting fee in exchange for Otani’s services. According to the posting system rules, Otani himself would be eligible to receive no more than a $4 million signing bonus.
The good news in all of this? The union agreed to reach a final decision by Monday, November 21, so there’s still a chance Major League Baseball will see the talented two-way player bring his unique skillset to the field in 2018.