Tony La Russa, recently elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, has made it clear his long-term goal in baseball was to join a club at a front-office level and not as a manager, a job he held for 33 seasons in the majors, including his last 16 with the Cardinals.
The closest that has seemed to fruition was the recent USA Today report that La Russa was a candidate for the presidency of the Seattle Mariners, a position that soon will be open when Chuck Armstrong steps down. La Russa, appearing at the Cardinals’ Winter Warm-Up today, acknoweldged, "My name’s been mentioned. That’s all it is.
"It’s likely I won’t even get an interview. I’ve heard they’ve got a couple of good guys in house. I think it’s a wonderful opportunity and I would love to put my two cents in as to what contribution I could make. But I don’t think it’s going to happen.
"I was a little embarrassed by the attention."
Since La Russa, announced today as one of the 22 first-class members of the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame, retired as Cardinals manager after the 2011 World Series championship season, he has worked on special projects for commissioner Bud Selig. One of those was his serving on the three-man committee to study and then recommend a more aggressive instant replay approach, which has been adopted for this season.
La Russa said, "People will see what a historic contribution it’s going to make to the competition. I think there will be more complaints about the limited use of it, rather than overuse that delays the game.
"The beauty to me is that what can be challenged is 90 percent of the (potential) misses. The criterion, for this year, though, is the dramatic game-changing play.
"We’re not trying to take mistakes out of it, whether they’re by umpires, pitchers, hitters or managers. And we’re not taking the arguments out.
"It’s just where the game changes or the competition changes because of a miss. That’s what the umpires want. That’s what we all want."