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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: Nov 13, 2006
Posted on: October 31, 2011 10:33 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement

Good Riddance.  He was a classless jerk.  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".  This series, like anything that the classless Cardinals organization gets involved in, is tainted and should be vacated.  I hope the highway patrol is out in force, as I am sure Larussa will be getting multiple DUI's in the future.  Just go away Tony.  Just go away.

Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: October 31, 2011 10:32 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement

Think Cards fans can say goodbye to Albert Pujols now too!  I think if LaRussa stayed, Albert stays.  This makes it a much easier decision for Pujols to make the move to the North Side of Chicago!

Since: Dec 21, 2006
Posted on: October 31, 2011 10:31 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement

goodbye tony.  goodbye albert...

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: October 31, 2011 10:31 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement

Way to go Tony,  you will be remembered as the best manager of this generation.   Not only for winning 3 titles but doing it in a city without a Top 5 payroll ad all the advantages that has,  Joe Torre and Terry Franconia are great but winning with all the future hall of famers on those rosters is easier.  Tony you created a place where players want to play,  managed the best hitter of this generation, and generally stayed away from negative media.  

Thanks for the great memories, from an Orioles fan.    

Since: Oct 17, 2011
Posted on: October 31, 2011 10:28 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement

Congratulations Coach!

My only wish is that you had had all of these many accomplishments with the Chicago White Sox. Cool 

Fair winds and following seas.

Since: Mar 19, 2008
Posted on: October 31, 2011 10:24 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement

Congrats Tony, what a way to go out. Francona may have a new team interested in him for next year.

Since: Oct 31, 2011
Posted on: October 31, 2011 10:23 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement

LaRussa, will and should go down as one of the greatest managers of all-time and quite possibly the best of his generation.  No one will remember the unspeakable trio of managerial gaffe's he had in game 5.  He took multiple teams to the playoffs and World Series, was able to always promote young players from within the organization and have them succeed, along with Dave Duncan completely resurrected countless veteran pitchers whose careers were deemed over, took a huge chance on bringing aboard McGwire as a hitting Coach only to see him bond with veterans and rookies, gave the OK to trade a huge prospect in Rasmus to bring aboard 4 intrical pieces to a Championship team, as well as all of the amazing things he did with his previous teams.  Always got the best out of his teams.  Love that he finishes on the top, and I'm not even a Cardinal fan.

Since: Nov 15, 2008
Posted on: October 31, 2011 10:23 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement

Tony knew it was time after this season to hang it up.  I wonder if this is any indication that Lil Albert is coming back and is in fact considering becoming a Yankee.  Well whatever the case may be I will admit that the Cardinals really wanted it and played like it in the World Series.  They never quit and out slugged a Texas team that had a world series ring pulled from under them.

Since: Sep 3, 2009
Posted on: October 31, 2011 10:20 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement

Congratulations Mr. LaRussa!  As a life-long Cardinal fan, I admire LaRussa for many things, especially this season.  Nothing like going out on top, and I really feel the team rallied around their manager after he was chastised so mercilessly by the media after Game 5.

Go Cardinals, THE most storied franchise in the National League! 

Since: Dec 15, 2006
Posted on: October 31, 2011 10:17 am

Tony La Russa announces retirement

it was pretty obvious the second the cardinals called for a press conference, this is the only reason it would happen the day after the world series parade.

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