We’re a month into Tony La Russa’s tenure as the Diamondbacks’ chief baseball officer and because that position has never actually existed with any other team before no one seems quite sure what the job entails.
La Russa included, apparently, as the Hall of Fame manager tells Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic:
I think the most critical thing is, this job has never been done anywhere, so I’ve never done this job. So we’re a month or whatever it is into it and I’ve done it every day and my responsibilities are getting more crystallized in my own mind. You simplify it: It’s who’s playing for the Diamondbacks and, secondly, it’s how they play. That’s kind of the responsibility that I’ve been given, and I’m going to share it with people in the organization. We’re going to look at who’s playing and we’re going to coach them.
Yeah, see that doesn’t really clarify much of anything.
Piecoro also asked La Russa what happens when another team wants to engage in some trade talk with the Diamondbacks. Do they call La Russa or do they call general manager Kevin Towers?
If they’re interested in talking to the Diamondbacks, they can call either one of us and we’re going to talk to each other. As a matter of fact, there was one gentleman who called and left a message for both of us, which I think is the smartest thing. But we’re going to communicate and we are communicating.
That also seems confusing, although most likely other teams have come to the same conclusion that just about everyone else seems to have, which is that La Russa is in charge and, at some point in the relatively near future, may be deciding to fire Towers (and manager Kirk Gibson) anyway.
Piecoro’s whole article is definitely worth reading, if only to be able to compare the current “plan” with what happens if/when the Diamondbacks’ front office begins to unravel.