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.”
Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.
Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.
To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.