Tony La Russa just couldn't sit still.
The Arizona Diamondbacks could no longer be patient.
The two sides started talking three weeks ago, quickly realized how much they need one another and Saturday consummated a relationship with La Russa being hired as the Diamondbacks' chief baseball officer.
He will run baseball operations and determine the fate of general manager Kevin Towers and manager Kirk Gibson.
"This is an absolutely brilliant move by the part of the Diamondbacks,'' Chicago White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said of La Russa, who was his first manager when he took over the team in 1981. "I can sum up my thoughts on this hire very succinctly: I'm glad the Diamondbacks are in the National League.'
"This man is brilliant. He has one of the top three or four baseball minds I've ever come across. He will dramatically restructure that franchise.''
The most immediate issues facing La Russa, who received a multi-year contract, are whether to keep Towers and Gibson.
But La Russa says there won't be any hair-trigger moves. He needs to evaluate the organization. Besides, he realizes it's too late to save this season with the Diamondbacks at 16-28 and in last place in the National League West.
He will spend these next few months evaluating the entire front-office operations, the major-league team, the minor league system and will even scout amateurs in the upcoming draft.
It won't be until August or September, or likely until after the season, when La Russa decides who goes and who stays.
It's a longshot that Towers or Gibson survives past the season, but no matter what La Russa decides, La Russa will be the GM reagrdless of his title.
And no, he will not manage the Diamondbacks, or any other team.
That's because ever since La Russa resigned after winning the 2011 World Series title with the St. Louis Cardinals, his ultimate desire has been to run a franchise.
He may have been making $2 million a year as a special assistant with the Commissioner's office, working under Joe Torre, but he was bored.
He craves competition, and working out the kinks in instant replay didn't cut it.
"I woke up this morning for the first time since the day of the retirement was announced (in 2011)," La Russa said Saturday, "and I felt a difference. For the first time, boy, my gut started to churn. I wanted to get back in the action.
"I never missed the managing, but boy, I missed the winning and losing."
La Russa, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in July and will still assist MLB's instant replay operations, applied for the Seattle Mariners' president vacancy in December, telling USA TODAY Sports, "The situation has to be right."
This one is perfect.
"It's a great situation for him,'' Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt told USA TODAY Sports. "He really wanted to be with a club. And he really wanted to be in a senior executive role. He has a lot to offer."
When Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall approached him three weeks ago, asking him to assess the team's woes, he didn't hesitate. He wanted the job and was ready as soon as the Diamondbacks were ready to pull the trigger.
The only catch, he told the Diamondbacks, is that he still has an investment group that wants to purchase a team. The Diamondbacks agreed to let him out of his contract should that day arrive.
"I started talking to him and picking his brain three weeks ago,'' Hall told USA TODAY Sports, "and thought, "Hey, this might be the perfect fit.' He was all in. He really wanted to do this.
"We'll see if he can make an impact.''
The Diamondbacks, who have the highest payroll in franchise history at $110 million, must overhaul a beleaguered pitching staff. They have a league-worst 4.78 ERA, and no one on their staff is considered better than a No. 3 starter. They play in a hitter friendly ballpark, but rank eighth in runs with a .303 on-base percentage.
Yet, with a few shrewd moves, there's no reason why they D'backs can't be contending again in 2015.
"Really, this is the way he wanted to get back into the game,'' Reinsdorf said. "It was just a matter of time before somebody got smart and realized he was out there.''
Towers, aware that the Diamondbacks were looking to make a hire to be his boss and possible successor, wanted to fix the team himself, but says he is on board with the move. Gibson also knows that losing brings scrutiny but says that he welcomes the opportunity to pick La Russa's brain.
We'll just see how long it lasts.
La Russa, who already has longtime pitching coach Dave Duncan working for the D'backs, along with his former first base coach Dave McKay, likely will surround himself with other people from his days with the Cardinals.
Cardinals first base coach Mike Aldrete, who played and coached for La Russa, could be a candidate to replace Gibson.
"It's a tough situation that he's entering," Kendrick said. "We don't expect any one person can change this overnight. It took us awhile to get where we are. It will take us awhile to change it.
"We feel we have the right guy at the right time."