Tony La Russa being around the Red Sox this season as an assistant to Dave Dombrowski has been an asset this season.
Last November, Tony La Russa was hired by President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski as a special assistant and vice president of baseball operations for the Boston Red Sox. La Russa was also hired to serve as a consultant to the minor and major league coaching staffs, which included first-year manager Alex Cora.
Last month, Dave Dombrowski and Alex Cora spoke to Chris Cotillo of Masslive about Tony La Russa’s role and also how he’s been a “sounding board” for manager Alex Cora.
"“He’s making a commitment,” said Dombrowski, “He loves baseball and loves being around the game. People in the organization love being around him. He’s a guy who will always give you every ounce that he has.”"
The impact La Russa brings to the team has been felt since spring training. La Russa has a thing for having a strong spring training. The Red Sox went 22-9 in exhibition games and started the regular season going 17-2 after losing the opener.
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La Russa also contributed to the team’s strong start by forming a great relationship between the coaches and the players. This team hasn’t missed a step all season and it starts from the top. Having La Russa around the team and his knowledge of baseball, in general, is helpful and rewarding.
La Russa travels with the team 85-90 percent of the time. Instead of working remotely he can watch the away games in person and maybe give ideas to what he sees to either a player, Dombrowski, or Cora.
"“We talk. We talk a lot,” Cora said. “I enjoy having dinner with him. That’s pretty cool. He’s a guy who feels a little bit awkward being in the clubhouse or being there for batting practice. I’m the other way around. Come down. You won a lot of games.”"
La Russa is a part of something special with this young team. It’s a team that wants to play every single night and it has shown all season.
In my opinion, I think La Russa overseeing the team is helpful. Not only for Cora but for the players too. La Russa is like a scout attending the games in the minor leagues this season. He also watches players who are making rehab starts.
La Russa brings that old school baseball around the team with his experience of the game which is even longer than Dombrowski’s. Overall, La Russa shows an impact on the young players with his overall knowledge of the game in general. With the team doing so well this season the real test will come in the playoffs. Having La Russa around the team in the playoffs will be good because of the experience he has in the playoffs. He’s been to six World Series winning three of them.