Living in the Bay Area and having managed there with Oakland, it is only logical that Tony La Russa has many local media contacts. As such, he granted a phone interview to the San Francisco Chronicle, portions of which appeared in a Sunday article there.
La Russa reiterated an earlier contention that he does not plan to manage indefinitely. Following is his quote.
“When you get to the end of the year, you’re a little beat up and want to make a decision with as clear a head as you can,” he said by telephone in the wake of the stunning three-game loss to the Dodgers in the Division Series. “I told them I wouldn’t take forever. At some point, sooner rather than later, I’m going to do something else in baseball. Thirty years (as a manager) is a long time.”
Upon questioning, La Russa made it clear he was not contacted by the Giants before they re-hired manager Bruce Bochy and reiterated an earlier declaration that St. Louis will be his final managerial stop.
“No,” he said. “We just ended. I just had a meeting with owners and the front office. My hesitation to return has nothing to do with going someplace else.”
Chicagoans hoping for a managerial upgrade will be crying in their Old Style as a result. Also on Sunday, the Chicago Tribune’s Phil Rogers hoped that with the announcements by La Russa’s contemporaries Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and Lou Piniella that they plan to stop managing after next season, La Russa might take a one-year deal with St. Louis and jump ship in 12 months.
Nor would La Russa sit out for a season and come back elsewhere in 2010. In the San Francisco interview, he said he would not take a year off, like some other managers have done between assignments. That has spared us all from the potential of a year of La Russa in the television analyst’s chair or the like.
“When I go, I go,” La Russa said.
The article concluded with La Russa indicating a desire to remain in the game after retirement from managing. The writer’s speculation immediately zeroed in on La Russa moving to a front office job, potentially as a general manager. This idea has been floated by others in the past.
While I agree that La Russa has the credentials, I disagree in that I seriously question whether the 65-year-old would enjoy the position after 30 years of being in control in the dugout. In addition, general manager is hardly a retirement job, with considerable demands of its own and no defined off-season to rest and recharge.
All indications remain that we won’t know what La Russa’s next job will be for another year or two once his expected decision to return to St. Louis in 2010 and perhaps longer is announced.