Tony La Russa, who a month ago reached baseball's pinnacle by being elected into baseball's Hall of Fame, now could be poised to climb yet another towering peak. La Russa is on the Seattle Mariners' short list of candidates to replace outgoing president Chuck Armstrong, two baseball officials with knowledge of the search told USA TODAY Sports. They spoke on the condition of anonymity since the search process is ongoing. Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln would neither confirm nor deny La Russa's candidacy, but divulged that the interview process began this week with two candidates within the Mariners' organization. If Lincoln and the Mariners board of directors believe one of the internal candidates are suited for the job, they won't even bother looking to La Russa or someone outside the organization. Yet, with La Russa's high-profile resume and several prominent Major League Baseball officials recommending La Russa to Lincoln, he could be the odds-on-favorite to be the next Mariners' president, providing they open the search to outside candidates. La Russa, when contacted, declined to specifically talk about the Mariners' opening, but acknowledged that he's interested in leaving his special assistant's job with Major League Baseball, and join a team's front office. "I'm interested in getting to the competition upstairs,'' La Russa said. "I've missed the competition since I left the field. I talked to the commissioner [Bud Selig] about it. It's not a thing where you miss the dugout, but I miss the winning and losing.