Long before Tony LaRussa became part of the Diamondbacks' organization I had funny interaction with him during spring training.

I was in the press box covering the first night game at Cubs Park for the Associated Press.

When the teams came out of the dugouts and lined up along the baselines for the National Anthem, I wanted to get a good picture of it so I left my seat for one directly behind home plate.

LaRussa happened to be sitting there. I said, "Excuse me, do you mind if I get a picture."

He said sure, and got a better posture and turned toward.

I leaned in and took a picture of the field and said thanks.

LaRussa started laughing out loud, smacked the desk in front of him and said "Ha, I thought you meant of me."

It was a funny moment, but nothing is comical about the Diamondbacks' season thus far.

And the front office brought in LaRussa, 69, to figure out what is wrong and find an answer.

It's a great move, that will pay off someday, but most likely not this year.

He's the greatest manager in my time 35 years as a baseball fan. He knows what it takes to win.

Now he is a Chief Baseball Officer for the D-backs.

I don't know how that translates to sitting in the owner's box and taking notes, traveling around to see the minor league prospects and helping with the MLB draft in two weeks.

I do know, however, that it can only help having LaRussa aboard.

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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