Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
Blog Entry

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.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Comments

Since: Oct 26, 2006
Posted on: November 8, 2011 3:30 pm
 

Tony La Russa announces retirement

Brian8ball:

1.  There is no denying that the PED era of baseball was launched in Oakland under Tony LaRussa's watch.  There is no denying that he fired one of the most respected trainers in baseball (Gieselmann) to bring in a shady at best character in Barry Weinberg.  Stop drinking the Tony LaRussa Kool-Aid and look at things with an open mind. 

2.  3rd all time in wins?  Sure.  Only Connie Mack managed more games than LaRussa.  When you manager almost 5,100 games and you have the talent that LaRussa has had over the years, you damn well BETTER win 2,700+ games.  And by the way, LaRussa is also number 2 all time in losses.

3.  You want stats?  Joe McCarthy managed ONE TEAM with a losing record in his entire career, and that was in the minors.  John McGraw's teams played to a record of 815 games over .500. Casey Stengel won 10 pennants and 7 championships over his career.  Had he not taken on the challenge late in his career to manage the expansion NY Mets, his winning percentage would have been much better.

4.  Cards went 9-9 vs. Brewers during the season and 6-3 vs. the Phillies.  The Cards held their own against their NL playoffs foes.

5.  Most playoff wins?  That means NOTHING in terms of history.  Why?  Because there was no such thing as an NLCS or ALCS until 1969, and until 1985, it was a best of 5 series.  And we've had best of 5 wildcard series ever since 1996.  Mack/McCarthy/McGraw/Stengel/etc. only had one playoff series in their day---the World Series.  More games to play means more opportunities to win.  If you want to go there, then try to find a manager that has LOST more playoff games than LaRussa.  Again, more opportunities will lead to more losses.  Comparing his total playoff victories to the managers I mentioned earlier is the same thing as saying David Freese made more in 2011 than Stan Musial did in 1960.  In terms of the number of dollars made, that's true.  But $100,000 went a hell of a lot further in 1960 that $414,000 goes today.  So it's deceiving to just look at NUMBERS.  You have to take into account ALL ASPECTS.

6.  LaRussa's .535 winning percentage is respectable, but where does it rank among the great managers of all time?  Look at the 57 managers in history that have won 1,000 or more games.  LaRussa's winning percentage is basically in the middle of the pack (24).

7.  The 1990 Reds were nothing special.  Come on.  They had two starters that hit over .300 (Mariano Duncan at .306 and Barry Larkin at .301).  The next best hitter was Billy Hatcher at .276.  The Reds had "The Nasty Boys" (Myers, Dibble, and Charlton) in the bullpen, and they were pretty damn good.  But the A's were so far superior to the Reds that it wasn't even funny.  The fact that they were swept in that series was a joke.
 
You need to take a moment from your LaRussa-idol worshipping and look at some of the things that LaRussa has done that make little or no sense.  Batting the pitcher 8th to "add another lead-off hitter".  Huh?  This was all about Tony saying, "Look at me!  I'm smarter than everyone."  If it was such a brilliant move to "add another lead-off hitter" by hitting the pitcher #8, why did he never do it in a playoff game?  Hmmm.

Like I said, a top ten manager for sure.  Best of all time?  No way.


brian8ball
Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 5, 2011 12:23 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Feb 13, 2010
Posted on: November 4, 2011 11:25 pm
 

Tony La Russa announces retirement

When did this become about the Bears or Ditka?  For the record he is a penis too.  Want proof?  How about after Josh Hancock's death?

...his threat to "start swinging this fungo" bat at any reporters showing "insincerity" in covering the April 29 drunken-driving death of St. Louis reliever ,

LaRussa won but he's an bastard and a lot of others are too.  



Since: Oct 26, 2006
Posted on: November 4, 2011 4:50 pm
 

Tony La Russa announces retirement

To BrianBall and RandallGraves:

Both of you are right about certain things, and both of you are wrong about certain things.  Randall, Tony LaRussa plead guilty to charges surrounding his 2007 DUI.  He made a mistake, owned up to it, and moved on.  He did not receive special treatment, as it is not uncommon for someone to plead guilty on a first offense and receive more or less a slap on the wrist.  Since that time, he has not made the same mistake.  What he did was wrong, no question.  But get over it.  Calling him a "drunk" based on one DUI arrest?  That's going too far.  If he does it again, he should go to jail.  Period.  But I will move on from this one incident and chalk it up to LaRussa making a very bad decision.

BrianBall, as much as I love the Cardinals, LaRussa was the manager for several high-profile PED users.  Last time I checked, the manager is in charge of the players.  HE IS RESPONSIBLE.  It's kind of fishy that LaRussa comes in and fires Gene Gieselmann, the Cardinals trainer of 29 years and one of the most respected trainers in all of baseball to bring in Barry "Needles" Weinberg (who was demoted to assistant trainer a year ago by GM John Mozeliak).  Where there's smoke, there's fire.  Either he didn't know about it, which makes him an idiot for not knowing what was going on in his own clubhouse, or he DID know about it and looked the other way, which makes him an enabler. 

The truth lies between the two of you (who seem to be polar opposites).  LaRussa had great success as a manager, but also had great failures (PED enabler, losing two World Series in Oakland to inferior teams, etc.).  LaRussa truly changed the way the bullpen is used in baseball.  When LaRussa came into baseball, you had starters, one closer, and 2 or 3 guys to come in to eat up innings if a starter had a bad outing.  Now, you have the "set-up guys" in the bullpen, something that LaRussa was the first to use on a regular basis.

Hall of Famer?  Yes.  No doubt about it.  One of the top 2 or 3 managers of all time?  No.  He's in the top 10 for sure, but not 2 or 3.  Getting swept in 1990 by the Reds automatically eliminates him from consideration for the top 3 in my mind.




brian8ball
Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 3, 2011 8:49 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Nov 13, 2006
Posted on: November 3, 2011 8:45 am
 

Tony La Russa announces retirement

You are amazing, brian8ball.  You really are in love with Larussa.  Anybody with half a brain (clearly you don't have even that), knows that McGwire was juicing.  You say it was never proven.  Please feel free to read the following excerpt from an article on ESPN:

<cite class="source">ESPN.com news services
</cite>

NEW YORK -- finally came clean, admitting he used steroids when he broke baseball's home run record in 1998, but he also said he didn't need performance-enhancing drugs to hit the long ball.

The rest of the article can be found here:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/

story?id=4816607

Now to address your personal attacks.  You say, "When someone doesn't have facts to argue they call names".  You then follow that up in the NEXT SENTENCE by calling me clueless.  Does this mean you have no facts to back it up?  Here is a list of the other names you have called me: Hypocrite (which you spelled wrong), idiot, fool, moron, hater, stupid, sad, foolish, clown.  Now, from what I can see, those are all names, and I just provided a FACT that McGwire did steroids BY HIS OWN ADMISSION!!!  Maybe Larussa didn't know, but then what does that say about him?  He had to be clueless when McGwire put on fifty pounds of muscle over the offseason.  And most of my criticism of Larussa is based on two things.  One was his DUI, which is a personal issue to me as I have lost friends when someone lilke him decided to drive after drinking.  Also, I assert, and I admit it is an opinion, that Larussa is overrated.  He has had hall of fame players and proven cheaters.  Many people agree with me (check the thread) that he was not as great as you want to believe.  Stop slobbering over his knob and look at facts!  A better manager would have won way more with the kind of talent that Larussa was given to work with. 




brian8ball
Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 2, 2011 6:05 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator



brian8ball
Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 2, 2011 5:39 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Nov 13, 2006
Posted on: November 2, 2011 11:00 am
 

Tony La Russa announces retirement

A Jets fan making fun of Bears greats.  Laughable.  Enjoy that clown Ryan.  That is probably why you are so upset, brian8ball.  Ditka ran your coach's daddy out of town. 



Since: Nov 13, 2006
Posted on: November 2, 2011 10:58 am
 

Tony La Russa announces retirement

At what point, brian8ball, did I ever say the Cubs were some great team?  I know full well what they have been for the last century, and am not about to defend them.  BUt the fact that people are gushing over this guy is laughable.  He was not great, so much as surrounded by ('roided up) great players.  You call him the greatest manager ever, but he isn't even close.  If he were the greatest, as you claim, then why didn't he win it every year? 
IN regards to his DUI, he is a public figure, and has a responsibility to project a clean public image.  ANybody who knows anything about Larussa knows he is anything but clean.  He has a serious problem with drinking, as evidenced by the fact that in the last few years it has taken a major toll on him, and he now looks like the crypt-keeper.
You mention that he may not have known that McGwire and Canseco were juicing.  If he did not know, then he was the only one.  McGwire was a skinny kid with a good swing at the start of his career.  AFter only a short time, he suddenly looked like some freak of nature, and his head expanded about 34 hat sizes.  Canseco was so obviously using, that Ray Charles could see it.
In addition, the jerk brought McGwire BACK to baseball.  He clearly wanted his biggest juicer back to teach his players how to use, and what masking agents they needed to cover it up.
Buy a clue and see through your fan-glasses that Larussa was a piece of crap who filled out a lineup card with awesome players, who were awesome in spite of, and not because of him.
Perhaps someday you will figure out how to remove your head from you a$$.


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