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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: Dec 10, 2007
Posted on: October 31, 2011 11:23 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement

Congratulations ... now unretire and take the Boston job please! 

Since: Apr 28, 2007
Posted on: October 31, 2011 11:19 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement

Maybe his buddy Jim Leyland in Detroit can think of two things to do now with Tony:

1. Hire him to replace our lousy 3rd base and bench Coach Gene Lamont. DD would have no problem over paying for him.

2. They can both retire together.

Please let it be #2.

Besides my above wishes!! Congrats Mr La Russa on a fine career...

Since: Jan 10, 2010
Posted on: October 31, 2011 11:16 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement

i dont want em to retire bc i think TLR is the best manager in baseball today. i understand that these days come inevitably. thanks tony for the memories. good luck to you and your family.

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: October 31, 2011 11:13 am

Great job and great timing, Tony...

Despite his loser detractors, Tony LaRussa has nothing to prove to anyone.  It is great to see him go out on top.  Managers are lightning rods for criticism; when Sparky Anderson was railroaded out of Detroit, it made me realize the greatest of managers can get unjustly fired.  Ever since then, I have been a fan of managers and head coaches quitting while everyone still remembers them as champions.
So, does anyone think every network that is serious about baseball has already contacted LaRussa's agent with some sweet offers?  I'll bet it's a great day to be Tony LaRussa's agent.

Since: Nov 13, 2006
Posted on: October 31, 2011 11:07 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement

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

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: October 31, 2011 11:07 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement

Why is everyone that is a winner "bad for baseball?"  Bad for baseball is everyone associated with the Chicago Cubs for the last 103 years?  What have they done besides provide mlb with material for jokes?  Most managers wish they could accomplish half of what Mr LaRussa did in his managerial career.

Since: May 8, 2007
Posted on: October 31, 2011 11:05 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement

And it begins. This is step one to Albert Pujols going elsewhere.

Good luck in retirement Tony! It'll be strange having an MLB without you involved but I don't think you could have gone out any better way. 

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: October 31, 2011 11:01 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement

Please (Dude, you are a joke and define the word classless)  what kind of post is this?  Jealousy at its peek

Since: Aug 12, 2006
Posted on: October 31, 2011 10:59 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement

Enjoy retirement Tony!

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: October 31, 2011 10:59 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement

>>>He turned a blind eye to the fact that many of his players use steroids, and even hired the biggest user of them all (McGwire) to be his "hitting coach", which loosely translates to "locker-room pusher". 

Very loosely, since testing is done now and wasn't done when McGwire was cheating.

LaRusa and McGwire were/are good friends, and he gave the guy a second chance.

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