Over at the Seattle Times, Larry Stone tossed out the possibility that Tony LaRussa - who may become a managerial free agent - could fit the needs of the Seattle Mariners, and if Stone thinks so, it's worth thinking about.
It is a mirthless reminder of how quickly things change in baseball.
Back in June, when Don Wakamatsu was dealing with the retirement of Ken Griffey Jr., the pouting of Chone Figgins and the lack of public support from Jack Zduriencik, the Mariners played a three-game series in St. Louis. Wakamatsu was reading stories and blogs about the likelihood he'd be fired, and he marveled at LaRussa's tenure with the Cardinals.
"Tony's a great manager, but he's had tough times," Wakamatsu said. "He won 90 games one season, lost 90 the next and kept his job. I'd love to talk to him about that, about how he handled it."
The first day in St. Louis, I relayed that conversation to LaRussa, and asked if he'd have time during the Mariners visit to spend a few minutes with a young manager who admired him. LaRussa said that, after the game that night, he'd planned on having one glass of wine - and Wakamatsu was welcome to join him. In turn, I passed that on to Wakamatsu.
The two men got together and talked baseball, family and life. Wak said later it was one of his most enjoyable nights of the year.
What LaRussa said, in part, was that surviving the tough seasons demanded patience and perspective by the front office, someone who believed in you strongly enough to stand by you. He said he hoped Wakamatsu had that, and that he'd watched and admired Wakamatsu's work.
Two months later, Wakamatsu was fired.
I bring it up now because it strikes me that LaRussa might have misgivings about the Seattle job now for the same reason Wakamatsu sought his counsel in June. The Mariners front office has burned through six managers since 2003 without once standing behind one when the going got tough.
Maybe Bob Melvin, Mike Hargrove, John McLaren, Jim Riggleman, Wakamatsu and Daren Brown weren't the right man for the job. Or perhaps, as LaRussa told a first-time manager in June, your job security - no matter how well you manage - is only as good as your front office.
Given his options, it's hard to see Tony LaRussa managing the Seattle Mariners.