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Arizona Diamondbacks – Future of Tony La Russa In Question

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With the hiring of Mike Hazen as GM, Tony La Russa's role is not clearly defined. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
With the hiring of Mike Hazen as GM, Tony La Russa's role is not clearly defined. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Tony La Russa has not decided if he will remain with the Arizona Diamondbacks. 

On Monday afternoon, the Arizona Diamondbacks relieved General Manager Chip Hale and General Manager Dave Stewart of their duties.

An equally important decision regarding the future of current Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa could be made in the coming days.

Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reported that if La Russa remains with the organization, he will serve in what Gilbert called, “an appropriate role.”

The new GM will also spearhead search for a new field manager. President and CEO Derrick Hall indicated during Monday’s press conference that the organization wants “experience” at that position, and with more of an emphasis on advanced statistical analytics.” Hall added the new GM will have a baseball background but not necessarily GM experience.

In May 2014, ownership hired La Russa hoping that the Hall of Fame manager would utilize his expansive knowledge of baseball to run a smooth baseball operations department.

Instead, ownership often stepped in and overruled La Russa and Stewart creating a difficult environment. In the past, La Russa indicated he did not want to stay if Stewart was fired.

Kendrick and Hall make the final judgment in any organization decision. At Monday’s news conference, Kendrick said he made mistakes in the past and will likely make more in the future.

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Finding the Best Role for La Russa 

Going forward, La Russa’s knowledge of the game of baseball is valuable. There is no question about that. Arizona gave him the wrong role.

If La Russa decides to stay with the Diamondbacks, he should serve as a special consultant for the  future manager and coaching staff.

La Russa managed for 35 years. During that time, he won the third-most games of any manager in MLB history (2,728).

He won multiple pennants in both leagues and won the World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals and Oakland Athletics.

The Diamondbacks need more experience in the front office. Yet, the wrong experience in the wrong role is not terribly efficient.

Next: Chip Hale, Dave Stewart let go.

Utilizing La Russa the right way could help the Diamondbacks become a winner again.

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