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The Red Sox are reportedly hiring Tony LaRussa in front office role

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I.....I don’t know.

San Francisco Giants v Arizona Diamondbacks
I’m as confused by this picture as I am by this move.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Red So have their new manager in Alex Cora, and as I type these words he is a little busy serving as the bench coach as his team tries to win Game Seven of the World Series. You’ll forgive him for being a little busy to fill out the rest of his coaching staff. That, however, doesn’t mean that Dave Dombrowski is too busy to get to work on filling out some other roles in the organization. According to Chad Jennings and Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald, the Red Sox are bringing on Tony LaRussa for a front office role.

I’m not going to sit here and lie to you....I don’t really understand what’s happening here. I mean, I kind of do. LaRussa is a baseball legend who has had an incredible amount of success in this league. It would be irresponsible to suggest that he is anything other than one of the best managers who has ever lived. With the Red Sox having just hired a new manager in Cora who has not ever experienced what it’s like to have managed in the majors leagues, it is understandable to think that someone with LaRussa’s legacy could have a positive impact.

Except, there are a couple things wrong with this. For one, LaRussa’s success, for as impressive as it may be, is not from all that recently. A lot of it is from the 80s and 90s, and even when he was winning more recently with the Cardinals he did so with some outdated thoughts. Old school tendencies still have some place in this game, but one would hope he won’t try to instill too many of his philosophies on Cora, who is so exciting because of his willingness to incorporate new-school theories. On top of that, Dombrowski himself said that he is focused on creating a better relationship with the young players on this team. That is why Cora was hired. While LaRussa is expected to serve in a front office role, there’s still some expectation from me that he’ll spend some time in the clubhouse. He’s not exactly the type I’d expect to connect with players like Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts.

So, I’m not a fan, if you can’t tell. Granted, we still don’t know what the exact role he’ll fill is, and there’s a chance he’s sort of like Frank Wren in the sense that we never really hear anything about him. That would be a good thing. That’s not really LaRussa’s style, though. It seems logical that he is being brought in to guide Cora through his adjustment period to major-league managing. LaRussa has had enough success that this strategy makes sense on the surface, but adding in a little more context it is a strange move that Dombrowski likely would have been better off not making.

UPDATE

LaRussa’s official title has been announced, and he will serve as “vice president and special assistant to the president of baseball operations.” As far as what he’ll do, well, it seems like he’ll be involved with just about everything on the baseball side of things. That includes but is not limited to player development and assisting the coaching staffs at all levels of the organization.