“Me personally, I think it’s time to step away for a long while.” ~Tony La Russa
Give Tony La Russa credit for going out on top. There’s no better way to walk away from the game than a World Champion.
It seems such a simple decision, but doesn’t happen nearly enough, as evident by the fact La Russa is the first ever manager to retire immediately following a championship victory.
Then again, La Russa was the first ever manager to do a lot of things. Some worked, the creation of the ninth inning closer, and some didn’t, pitchers hitting eighth.
The timing, of course, is right too. He’s done just about everything one can do in 33 years of managing in addition to a 2,728-2,365 regular-season record, 70 postseason victories and three World Series titles.
Leaving on his own terms, as a World Champion, is simply icing on the cake.
What’s most unfortunate, however, is the unlikelihood St.Louis hires a manager as polarizing as La Russa. He was great theatre for the Cubs-Cards rivalry, much like Ozzie was for the Sox series.
La Russa, although respected, was fun to hate as a Cubs fan. Who would’ve ever thought he’d be missed at Wrigley Field?
The departure of La Russa is also the newest twist in an eventful offseason for the NL Central.
Who knows if Pujols will remain in St. Louis without Tony, or if Prince Fielder is heading to New York, or if Theo can right the ship on the North Side?
Only time will tell, but losing La Russa could be the biggest game-changer of them all.