According to Jon Heyman, the Diamondbacks’ exorcism isn’t finished. While Tony La Russa’s exact future with the club is unknown, it appears he will no longer be in charge of Arizona’s baseball operations.
dbacks was even more of a blood bath than it seemed. la russa no longer is big cheese. new gm will lead baseball ops.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) October 4, 2016
Heyman goes on to note that La Russa and owner Ken Kendrick spoke for three hours on Monday morning, and that the former Chief Baseball Officer is “still deciding whether to stay at all.”
While we don’t know what La Russa will ultimately decide, it would be somewhat surprising to see him stay given his comments during a radio interview less than two weeks ago. When asked if he could see himself remaining with the organization if Dave Stewart was let go, La Russa wasn’t optimistic.
“I think there’s a matter of integrity, as far as personal integrity, and it’s hard for me to see agreeing to let somebody go that I don’t think should be let go...I just think that hopefully I’m not put in that position.”
With these recent developments, Arizona can finally move past La Russa and company’s “reign of error”. No longer will they be hampered by a GM who tried to make an illegal trade, and who quite literally “didn’t understand the international bonus pool rules”.
However, there’s still one potential issue standing in the Diamondbacks’ way; Derrick Hall. He was ultimately the man responsible for hiring La Russa, and barring any unforeseen changes, he’ll be the man running the search for the next GM (or whatever superfluous title they choose).
The thing about the AZ front office is even if they clear out TLR, the guy in charge of putting the club back together is Hall— Craig Goldstein (@cdgoldstein) October 3, 2016
He's got a good rep in general but his last big moves have been: Firing Byrnes, letting Dipoto walk, Hiring Towers, then Stewart/TLR— Craig Goldstein (@cdgoldstein) October 3, 2016
Hall’s recent track record is clearly less than ideal, with La Russa representing his magnum opus of poor decisions. Hall essentially gave the keys to his multi-million dollar car to a child with no understanding of how a car operated, and expected everything to work perfectly. Sure, you might be upset with the child for destroying your precious automobile, but it’s the adult who’s culpable.
The Diamondbacks are at a crossroads in the history of their young franchise. While they’ve undoubtedly made some troubling decisions in the recent past (signing Yoan Lopez, trading Dansby Swanson, and somehow making their old purple uniforms look desirable), they can move past most of those by hiring someone that’s unequivocally qualified to run the baseball operations department.