PHOENIX (AP) — Tony La Russa has never missed the managing part of baseball since retiring in 2011. He did miss the competition and, most particularly, the winning.
That's what drew him back to the big leagues.
Bolstering their front office, the Arizona Diamondbacks hired La Russa as their chief baseball officer on Saturday, hoping the Hall of Fame manager can help turn around the team after one of the worst starts in franchise history.
"It's the first day I woke up and I felt a difference," La Russa said. "Because for the first time since then you're back with an organization and at the end of the day you're going to be judged by how well your contribution is to the organization's competition. That's how I grew up."
La Russa last worked as a manager in 2011, walking away after leading the St. Louis Cardinals to their second World Series title with him at the helm.
He spent time working for Major League Baseball as a special assistant to Commissioner Bud Selig and was itching to get back into baseball on a day-to-day basis, appearing at Diamondbacks games a few times the past few weeks.
La Russa will report to Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall and oversee the entire baseball operations department. He will work with general manager Kevin Towers and manager Kirk Gibson in shaping the future of the Diamondbacks, who were 16-28 heading into Saturday night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
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