Titles mean far less than practical power, and the simple truth is that Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers lost his power when Arizona hired Tony La Russa. Towers was hired after Jerry Dipoto stepped in on an interim basis after Josh Byrnes was fired in the summer of 2010.
There has been far less stability than success for the Diamondbacks, which is why one rival evaluator mentioned Tuesday that La Russa is probably already working on borrowed time. "He's like the rabbit in a dog race," said the evaluator.
In other words: History tells us that eventually, Arizona ownership will get fed up with him, too, just as it turned on Byrnes and then Towers, despite the fact the team generally played above expectations for a team with a middle-class payroll.
When Byrnes was hired in 2005, Arizona was in the midst of back-to-back seasons in which the Diamondbacks had the worst run differential in the majors.