Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa announced Wednesday that he is stepping down from his front office position with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
He is already receiving calls from interested organizations that would like to work with him, La Russa told reporters at a press conference in Arizona.
"The Diamondbacks are in great hands." However, he added, "It's time to move on."
Sandy Alderson hired La Russa to manage the A's in 1983. Alderson, as the team's GM, was also responsible for firing La Russa roughly a decade later. The duo won nearly 800 games, three pennants, and one World Championship together in Oakland. So, when hearing about La Russa leaving Arizona, and knowing the Mets are in a bit of a leadership transition, my first thought was wondering if these two have interest in reconnecting...
Jul 19, 2014; La Russa, Dave Stewart and Rickey Henderson in Oakland. Credit: USA TODAY Sports
I have no idea what the state of their relationship is, but I don't think there is any chance La Russa is a candidate to manage the Mets. Crazier things have happened, and I guess nothing is impossible. However, if Alderson wanted a 70-year old, old-school guy that doesn't believe in statistical analysis to run his team, he could have just kept Terry Collins. That said, if they still get along, I could see Alderson hiring La Russa for some sort of advisory role, similar to what he did in Arizona.
The last time their names appeared in media together was in 2014, during which La Russa said he approached Alderson in the late 80s about players in Oakland that may have been using steroids. Alderson later told reporters he didn't recall such a meeting. La Russa has continued to insist the two men discussed the issue.
The 2014 back-and-forth print battle never came across as contentious, but I'm sure it wasn't a fun conversation to repeatedly have for a week with reporters. I hope the two men have moved on, especially since they share so many positive experiences together.
The point is, La Russa has won more than 2,7000 games as a manager. He has extensive knowledge of winning teams. He's the same age as Sandy, with whom he already had 10 years of success.
There is also reason to think these two men have nothing in common, specifically as it pertains to stats and their recent spat about steroids. But, if Sandy wants La Russa's experience and brain within the office to help evaluate talent and give ideas on how to make the Mets better, I'm all for it.
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog Podcast, which you can subscribe to here. He recently left his position as Executive Editor and Dir. of Digital Content for SNY.TV to help sports brands build their own digital content businesses...