When MLB teams have high expectations coming into a season, and those expectations aren’t met, changes are inevitable. The Arizona Diamondbacks have struggled ever since this season began, and decided that enough was enough.
The club today, named Tony La Russa as their Chief Baseball Officer. Arizona entering play on Saturday is tied with the Houston Astros for most losses in the majors with 28.
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) May 17, 2014
To make matters worse, the D-backs run differential of -73 is the worst of any team in baseball. La Russa will have final say on all baseball matters. According to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, General Manager Kevin Towers will report directly to La Russa.
#Diamondbacks hire Tony La Russa as "chief baseball officer," GM Kevin Towers will report to him.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) May 17, 2014
The entire organization is obviously frustrated with the results on the field and we are looking to improve,” Diamondbacks president and CEO Derrick Hall said in a statement.
La Russa, 69, retired after 33 seasons as an MLB manager in 2011. He managed the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals to three World Series championships and six appearances in the Fall Classic.
He is third on the all-time wins list behind Connie Mack and John McGraw, and was unanimously elected to the 2014 Hall of Fame class by the Expansion Era Committee. La Russa is a proven winner, and it should be interesting if he can change the culture around Arizona with his presence.
Photo: Rick Scuteri, USA Today