A report in USA Today says that former St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is a serious candidate to become the next team president of the Seattle Mariners.
On one hand, such an arrangement could make a lot of sense:
- Seattle is near La Russa's northern California home. So he would achieve his goal of being nearer to and able to spend more time with his family.
- La Russa has expressed an interest in returning to being a part of a team after working the last two years for the Major League Baseball office, although he says he doesn't want the day-to-day grind of being a field manager.
- The Mariners, who signed Robinson Cano this off-season seem committed to aggressively trying to become more competitive. La Russa's presence might give a team that's had a hard time attracting free agent players (unless they massively over-bid for them) some much-needed credibility.
But there are also some reasons that La Russa might not be a good fit:
- La Russa is 69 years old and isn't likely to stick around long enough to oversee a prolonged rebuilding process. Although Seattle is trying to turn things around, the Mariners haven't had an over .500 seasons since 2009 and have only won more games than they lost twice in the past decade.
- The Mariners have a lot of front office disorganization. I don't know if La Russa would want to get involved as a figurehead. Would he be afforded the authority to choose his own people for the field manager, general manager and scouting head jobs? If not, it's probably not the job for him.
- Speaking of hires, who would La Russa WANT to bring in. During the end of his days in St. Louis he touted former slugger Mark McGwire as a potential future manager. Would Seattle be excited about La Russa trying to use his position to do favors for his buddies?