La Russa joins D-backs' front office

 

The Sports Network

Phoenix, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa has been hired by the Arizona Diamondbacks for a newly-created position of chief baseball officer.

La Russa, who retired from managing after leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a World Series title in 2011, will serve as a superior to general manager Kevin Towers and current skipper Kirk Gibson and work under Diamondbacks team president and CEO Derrick Hall.

The 69-year-old La Russa had most recently been employed by Major League Baseball's executive offices as a special assistant to Commissioner Bud Selig. He also had been a member of Selig's special committee for on-field matters since 2009.

La Russa's appointment comes during a difficult period for the Diamondbacks, whose 16-28 record is the third-worst in the majors at the moment.

"The entire organization is obviously frustrated with the results on the field and we are looking to improve," said Hall. "Tony brings us a wealth of knowledge, experience and success, and will work closely with Kevin and Kirk in evaluating our current state to determine the future of our baseball operations. He is excited and enthusiastic about the challenge, and we are fortunate to have this Hall of Famer on board and a part of the team."

La Russa concluded a 33-year managerial career with the third-most wins in MLB history and won three world championships, having guided the Oakland Athletics to a 1989 World Series win and the Cardinals to titles in both 2006 and 2011. His teams also captured six pennants and 12 division titles while reaching the postseason 14 times.

Due to be inducted alongside fellow legendary managers Joe Torre and Bobby Cox in this summer's Hall of Fame class, La Russa amassed a 2,728-2,365 overall record with the Chicago White Sox, Oakland and St. Louis.

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