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Tony La Russa announces retirement

Posted on: October 31, 2011 10:10 am
Edited on: November 14, 2011 9:19 pm

By Matt Snyder

Just three days after winning his third World Series ring, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa has decided to retire from managing. He made the announcement at a press conference Monday morning.

“My most prominent feeling today as I reflect back on my 33 years of managing and my 16 years as a St. Louis Cardinal is my overwhelming gratitude for the good fortune that I have had and the many people who helped me along the way,” said La Russa.  “I had the opportunity to work for three organizations that were all very different, but very much the same in the most important way – their drive for success.”

In a surprising revelation, La Russa noted that he already had his mind made up he was going to retire at the conclusion of the season, regardless of the outcome. He mentioned that he told general manager John Mozeliak in late August.

"It's just time to do something else, and I knew it," he said. "If we won, if we lost, it wasn't going to change."

He also said that he told the players after the parade celebration Sunday evening and that "some grown men cried."

La Russa retires
In hindsight, La Russa seemed to be enjoying himself in press conferences more than he ever had before, just enjoying one final ride. It turned out to be a magical ride, as the Cardinals would win an amazing Game 6 and take control of Game 7 in the early innings, winning Game 7, 6-2. All this after being 10 1/2 games out of the wild card in late August. And the Cardinals played all season without injured ace Adam Wainwright.

La Russa, 67, has been a manager for the past 33 seasons, having stints with the White Sox, A's and then Cardinals. He won the AL Manager of the Year three times and the NL Manager of the Year once. He won 11 division titles and twice took the wild card. He was at the helm for six pennants (three with the A's, three with the Cardinals) and three World Series championships (1989 with the A's; 2006 and 2011 with the Cardinals). His 70 career postseason wins are second to only Joe Torre, and La Russa's 2,728 regular season wins are third in history, behind only Connie Mack and John McGraw.

Love him or hate him, there's no getting around the fact that La Russa will go down in history as one of the greatest managers in baseball history.

“On behalf of the entire Cardinals organization and our tremendous fans, I want to thank Tony for everything he has done over the past 16 years to help keep the Cardinals among the most respected and revered franchises in all of professional sports,” said Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. “Tony leaves behind a legacy of success that will always be considered one of the greatest eras in Cardinals history; an era that began immediately with a Division title in 1996 and was capped off with a World Championship in 2011”

Regarding the All-Star Game next season -- usually the World Series managers manage their respective leagues -- Major League Baseball will now decide who manages the NL All-Stars. The last time a World Series manager left his team was in 2003, when Dusty Baker took over the Cubs job (he was the Giants manager in the '02 World Series). Baker ended up just managing the '03 game. If La Russa wants to manage the '12 All-Star Game, he surely will. It's just a question of what he wants to do.

As for a possible return full-time, La Russa flatly said "no," when asked if he'd ever manage again.

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Since: Mar 25, 2011
Posted on: October 31, 2011 11:44 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement

So he was arrested for a DUI.  How is that bad for baseball.  I understand drinking and driving is not to be taken lightly, but it's not like he's the first manager, player, or even owner who has similar issues.  Digging up old crap from how long ago.  Seriously,  this is quite petty!  The man has done nothing but win and now he's going out on top.  It's nice to see the majority posts are in support of him.

Since: Oct 25, 2011
Posted on: October 31, 2011 11:43 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement

Thanks for all the memories Tony.  We in STL need to recognize how lucky we were to have a class act like Tony.  In a team steep w/ historical players and coaches he fits right in that mold.  Thank you Tony!

FOR THE RECORD: If you go to Boston or the Cubs I take it back!  (kidding... kind of) :)

Since: Mar 2, 2007
Posted on: October 31, 2011 11:42 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement

Dear Tony La Russa,
I'm a die-hard Brewers fan and I hated you... as a matter of fact, I loved to hate you.  I will truly miss that in the future.  As much as it pains me to say this... Congrats to you and your Cardinals on an amazing season.  Baseball will miss you and even your worst enemies will miss you.  Thanks for the 33 years Tony.

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: October 31, 2011 11:42 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement

Way to go out on top skip.

The Cardinals will never be the same without your leadership.

Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: October 31, 2011 11:34 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement

the definition of "going out on top"

Since: Nov 13, 2006
Posted on: October 31, 2011 11:33 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement

Link to photo of Larussa in his finest moment:

Since: Jun 2, 2008
Posted on: October 31, 2011 11:32 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement

You're going to be missed Tony. It's been one hell of a ride. TLR already knows it, but he will be in Cardinals fans' hearts for eternity. 

Since: Sep 6, 2006
Posted on: October 31, 2011 11:32 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement

Of course Larussa and McGwire are close.  An alcoholic hanging out with a junkie?  Shocking!

Ah, the comments of a pathetic loser. Keep thinking people care what you have to say. 

Thanks for the years, Tony.  

Since: Nov 13, 2006
Posted on: October 31, 2011 11:31 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement


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MARCH 22--Meet Tony LaRussa. The manager of the reigning World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals, was arrested early this morning for drunk driving. LaRussa, 62, was popped in Jupiter, Florida, where the team's spring training facility is located. According to Jupiter Police Department reports, LaRussa was found slumped over at the wheel of a Ford SUV that had stopped in a traffic intersection around midnight. After repeated knocks at the window, LaRussa awoke. He that it had been a 'long day' for him and he was returning home from dinner, during which he had 'several glasses of wine.' by Officer John O'Keefe, LaRussa answered 'no' when asked if he was under the influence. However, after LaRussa failed a series of roadside sobriety tests (which were videotaped), he was arrested. For example, when asked to recite the alphabet, LaRussa stumbled after 'n.' He claimed, , that the letter was followed by 'i, z, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, v, z, t, u, v..........x,y,z with a pause.' Breathalyzer tests later administered at the Palm Beach County Jail showed LaRussa's blood alcohol content to be .093, above Florida's .08 legal limit. After posting $500 bond, LaRussa was released at 8:20 AM from the Palm Beach lockup, where the below booking photo was snapped. Upon his release, LaRussa was given back his , which included four league championship rings awarded to him for piloting the Cardinals and the Oakland Athletics.

For those of you who don't know, by the way, "a couple glasses of wine" is Larussa speak for a few bottles of whiskey.

Since: Oct 25, 2011
Posted on: October 31, 2011 11:30 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement

Of course Larussa and McGwire are close.  An alcoholic hanging out with a junkie?  Shocking!

Way to be a D-BAG cynic "RandallGraves"  I'm sorry you're view is so skewed, maybe a shitty season for your team? Don't bash a baseball icon, respect the game!      

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or