La Russa Celebrates World Series Win With Retirement
It’s likely what anyone, in any profession, not just baseball would want to do: go out on top. Tony La Russa has managed to do just that, as he announced his retirement from coaching today, only three days after his St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series in seven games.
As ESPN reports, the 67-year old La Russa had been planning on retiring since the summer. In 33 years as a manager, 16 of them with the Cardinals, La Russa won three World Series championships.
I think it’s safe to say that the Cardinals were never, at any point this year, given a chance to win the World Series – including throughout the playoffs and their final match up with the Texas Rangers. How much does a veteran coach like La Russa help in pushing an underdog to the top? Does a coach’s leadership help push a team that should never have made the playoffs into a champion? What about in game 6 of the World Series when Texas needed only one more strike to win it all – and St. Louis somehow rallied back to win that game and the next? Since La Russa is considered one of the greatest managers in the history of baseball (and he has the third most career wins to help back it up) it’s likely he had a lot to do with their success.
La Russa hasn’t ruled out a return to some other job in baseball, but he was straightforward in saying that he had managed his last game. In sports, we’ve become accustomed to players returning after saying they’ve retired (Michael Jordan, Brett Favre to name two). However, I’m not sure that the same would hold true for La Russa. He’s 67 years old. He’s coached for almost half of his life – on top of 10 years that he split time between the major and minor leagues. It’s likely he’s had his fill of the game, at least in those more demanding roles. I’m sure we’ll see him turn up on ESPN, Fox, or maybe as a team advisor down the line. But the Boston Red Sox are looking for a new manager…