There have been numerous rumors swirling about what the future holds for Tony LaRussa. With Tony’s upcoming discussion at the Peabody maybe some of these rumors may finally be put to rest. I have heard everything from him taking another managing job to him disappearing to a mystery island somewhere never to be seen or heard from again. Many of the rumors are absolutely absurd. I thought I would take the opportunity to explore some of these along with what I feel is the probability of them occurring. What does Tony’s future hold?
LaRussa Takes a Front Office Job with the Cardinals:
This rumor has been extremely prevalent. I don’t think this will happen any time soon for a few reasons. First, there really isn’t a place for him at this time. Tony will only take a position like this if he has a great deal of authority. A chance to mold a team into his image would be the only way he takes an opportunity like this. Second, with Mozeliak’s personnel moves he is obviously asserting himself as the leader. The two Alphas would never be able to coexist at that level. While I personally hope this is a not a never situation I don’t see it happening anytime soon.
Probability: Next to zero for the foreseeable future.
LaRussa Takes a Front Office Job:
While I feel that there is not currently a place in the Cardinals front office I believe Tony could possibly make an impact with a team in the near future. This is Tony’s stated preference. He wants to work within an organization somewhere. There are several caveats to this as I mentioned above. He is going to have to have all of the control. I kind of liken it to a Bill Parcells situation. He is the King. He gets to do what he wants, when he wants. If not he will not put himself into that situation.
Probability: 90% Chance in 2012 or 2013
LaRussa Becomes the Skipper on an Interim Basis:
The possibility that Tony will take over as an interim Manager has many fans and GM’s salivating. Would Tony be willing to venture back into the dugout again? I’m not sure he wants to go back to that grind. However, Tony has been at this a long time. He will miss it. Will he miss it enough to push him back? It may be a question of whether the right situation is available. If it is a stepping-stone into the front office of a particular organization it may be possible. It would be very hard for an organization to resist trying to keeping a Hall of Fame Manager in the dugout if they get him in there in the first place.
Probability: Less than 20%
LaRussa Goes to Work For MLB and Bud Selig:
With the announcement of Joe Torre stepping down last week to try to buy the Dodgers (I wish the former Cards skipper the best of luck with this endeavor) I immediately thought that TLR would be a great fit. Tony would be a great Executive VP of Operations. His knowledge of the game, today’s players, and the rules would make him a great fit. He has served on several committees and been supportive of many of Commissioner Selig’s initiatives. I like this even more since the owners seem to be ready to offer Bud a two year extension even though he has repeatedly expressed that he was retiring this year. I think this is a perfect opportunity to mold his successor. That gives him some time to prep TLR to assume the Commissioner’s role. While this writer would love to see Bob Costas as the Commish I don’t see that ever happening, so I would gladly settle for Tony’s old school style, 50 plus years of game experience, and a Hall of Fame pedigree.
Probability: 85-90% Tony takes over Torre’s spot. Commissioner job is a coin flip.
Tony Gets the Band Back Together:
Tony takes over for Mike Scioscia and brings Dave Duncan with him to reunite with Pujol$ in Anaheim. This is my favorite ridiculous rumor that combines a couple of things previous rumors I have discussed. This will not happen. Scioscia may enjoy more freedom and flexibility in Anaheim than LaRussa even had here. He’s not going anywhere. Duncan will either be back with the Cards or will hang it up forever to support his wife. I laugh every time I see this little discussion line on a chat board or mentioned in conversation. While the fact that Tony is a Cali guy and this may appeal to him on several levels, the possibility of this happening is absurd.
Probability: The same as me batting in the 3 hole and playing First Base for the Cards this year.
There are several things mentioned above that may or may not come true. Whatever Tony decides to do, he has certainly earned it. I have some things I personally hope for. I hope that TLR has great health. I would love to see him as the Commissioner of MLB. I can’t think of any other former Manager or “Baseball Guy” that has a better perspective to bring to that office. As I mentioned previously I am a huge proponent of Bob Costas for that position as well. The two of them together would be simply amazing. Their passion for the game along with their sensibility would no doubt be an asset to Major League Baseball and us as fans. Finally, I sincerely hope that Tony writes at least one more book along the lines of “Three Nights in August”. The way Tony breaks down the game in that book is amazing. I can only imagine what stories unfolded in the background of the most improbable World Championship run. I hope we get a chance to live them through the pages of a new book in the near future.