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Baseball Insider

La Russa's with MLB for now, but friends say he could join a team

Tony La RussaJust-retired iconic manager Tony La Russa has taken a job with MLB for now, but people who know La Russa say he'll jump at his first good opportunity to help run a franchise.

La Russa was reportedly in line to be a key part of Connecticut hedge fund giant Stevie Choen's failed bid to buy the Dodgers, and people close to La Russa say his competitive juices flow to the point where he's anxious to get back into the game with a team. It isn't certain whether La Russa could be a candidate for the winning biddder, the group led by basketball ledgend Magic Johnson and longtime baseball executive Stan Kasten.

La Russa is said by a Cardinals person to have had at least a very cordial relationship over the years with Kasten, the former Braves and Nationals president. The Dodgers' new team plans to keep GM Ned Colletti, at least in the forseeable future, but La Russa's likely executive role wouldn't be as GM, anyway. La Russa, a Northern California resident, is said to be willing to entertain opportunities with other teams, as well.

In the meantime, La Russa will serve as an adviser/consultant to MLB, working on special projects. His salary isn't known but it is believed far less than the reported $2.5 million. He will not be required to work out of the New York office.

One more thing seems pretty clear regarding La Russa's chances to join a franchise: those opportunities aren't as likely to come with the Astros, whose new GM is Cardinals executive Jeff Luhnow, or the Cardinals. La Russa had an long impressive tenure with the Cardinals that resulted in two surprise World Series championships and a long run of success, but it's pretty well known throughout baseball circles that he had a sometimes sticky relationship with several of his Cardinals bosses.


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