After one of the most dramatic World Series wins ever, St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa has decided to call it quits:
Tony La Russa waited until after the championship parade and then called a team meeting with his players.
“We didn’t know what to expect,” said pitcher Chris Carpenter, who won Game 7 of the World Series against Texas on Friday night. “I think we all figured it was just going to be like, ‘Thataway guys. Great year. Way to battle!’ Instead, he dropped that on us. I think everybody was caught off-guard.”
And with that, the 67-year-old La Russa said goodbye to baseball and became the first manager to retire immediately after leading his team to a Series title — the third of his career.
“I think this just feels like it’s time to end it,” he said Monday. “When I look in the mirror, I know I’d come back for the wrong reasons, and I didn’t want to do that.”
La Russa said he told general manager John Mozeliak of his decision in August — before the Cards rallied from a 10½-game deficit in the NL wild-card race to upset Philadelphia and Milwaukee in the playoffs.
They won the thrilling seven-game Series after twice coming within a strike of elimination in Game 6.
LaRussa leaves the game ranked third in all time wins (trailing John McGraw by just 35 games). He’s the only manager besides Sparky Anderson to manage a World Series champ in both leagues. He’s arguably the best manager of this era and will be a lock to enter the Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible for election in 2013.
He is without a doubt one of the best and he will be missed. But I can’t think of a better way to leave the game. Congratulations, Tony, for a great career.