Skip to content

Going out on top: Tony La Russa announces retirement

Oct 31, 2011, 10:17 AM EDT

2011 World Series Game 4 -Texas Rangers v St Louis Cardinals Getty Images

Last week every indication was that Tony La Russa planned to return for his 17th season as Cardinals manager and even today when the Cardinals announced a press conference few people suspected it had anything to do with the manager.

Turns out he’s decided to go out on top, with La Russa making the surprise retirement announcement this morning.

La Russa calls it quits just 35 wins away from passing John McGraw for second place on the all-time list behind Connie Mack, but the 67-year-old manager’s place in Cooperstown is plenty secure with a 2,728-2,365 (.536) record over 33 seasons and World Series titles in 1989, 2006, and 2011.

==========

La Russa revealed that he’s been thinking about retiring since August, but general manager John Mozeliak tried to talk him out of it. “I think this feels like it’s time to end it. And it’ll be great for the Cardinals to refresh what’s going on with the field manager job. … Look in the mirror and I know if I came back it would be for the wrong reasons.”

Regarding his retirement plans, La Russa brought up possibly buying a minor-league team and wondered if “the phone will ring” for another job in baseball.

La Russa noted that Dick Vermeil, Bill Walsh, and Sparky Anderson regretted retiring as quickly as they did, but said he’s been thinking about it for a while and the experience of the playoff run never changed his feeling that stepping down was the right thing. “If we won, if we lost, it wasn’t going to change.”

On being 35 wins away from passing John McGraw, he said: “I’m aware of the history of the game, but it wouldn’t be right to come back to manage just to move up one spot. It’s not something that motivates me.”

On telling the team after yesterday’s World Series rally: “I was encouraged that some grown men cried. I liked that, because they made me cry.”

Latest Posts
  1. Desmond Jennings won’t return to play the final week

    Sep 22, 2014, 2:48 PM EDT

    Desmond Jennings AP

    He finishes the season hitting .244 with 10 homers, 15 steals, and a .697 OPS in 123 games, falling back to his 2012 production after posting a .748 OPS last season.

  2. Adam LaRoche doesn’t expect to re-sign with the Nationals

    Sep 22, 2014, 2:14 PM EDT

    laroche getty Getty Images

    LaRoche has bounced back nicely from a down season in 2013, hitting .255 with 25 homers and a career-high 80 walks on the way to an .811 OPS.

  3. HBT Daily: Who will be on the outside looking in?

    Sep 22, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    HBT Daily Logo

    The A’s? The Mariners? The Royals? Does it help if I tell you that I’m always wrong about these things?

  4. Royals finish with their highest attendance in 23 years

    Sep 22, 2014, 1:47 PM EDT

    Ned Yost Getty Images

    They’re an unshakable bunch, Royals fans.

  5. Major League Baseball creates a pace of game committee

    Sep 22, 2014, 12:13 PM EDT

    Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley

    They hope to have some measures in place to attack slow play in time for the 2015 season.

  6. Mat Latos is done for the year

    Sep 22, 2014, 11:44 AM EDT

    latos getty Getty Images

    The whole year?!!! *someone whispers in my ear that there’s only a week left* Oh, in that case.

  7. Frank Wren fired as Braves GM, John Hart to take over on an interim basis

    Sep 22, 2014, 10:56 AM EDT

    Frank Wren

    The Braves cratered this year. Someone had to take the fall.

  8. UPDATE: Frank Wren likely to be fired by the Braves, Fredi Gonzalez likely to stay

    Sep 22, 2014, 10:31 AM EDT

    Fredi Gonzalez Getty Images

    It looks like Frank Wren is gonna take the fall for the Braves’ collapse.

  9. AND DOWN THE STRETCH THEY COME! Sizing up the final week of the regular season

    Sep 22, 2014, 9:40 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 9.39.12 AM AP

    What’s left to be decided? And who will be left standing this time next week?

  10. Giants CEO Larry Baer thinks advertisements on uniforms are coming soon

    Sep 22, 2014, 8:45 AM EDT

    Your Ad Here

    And he tries to peddle the idea that allowing them would keep ticket prices down. Suuuuure it will, Larry.

  11. Must-Click Link: Derek Jeter opens up. Seriously, he really does.

    Sep 22, 2014, 7:00 AM EDT

    Derek Jeter Getty Images

    About his future. About the press. About the Steinbrenners. About Old Yankee Stadium vs. New Yankee Stadium. But not about A-Rod.

  12. And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

    Sep 22, 2014, 5:14 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 7.55.58 PM AP

    The Royals salvage one and their hopes of an AL Central title remain alive.

  13. Video: Josh Donaldson crushes walk-off homer as Athletics down the Phillies

    Sep 21, 2014, 11:05 PM EDT

    Josh Donaldson Josh Donaldson

    Josh Donaldson gave the Athletics a spark when he delivered a walk-off two-run home run in the 10th inning against the Phillies on Sunday.

  14. Neal Huntington intends to keep Russell Martin in a Pirates uniform

    Sep 21, 2014, 10:15 PM EDT

    Russell Martin Russell Martin

    It seems soon-to-be free agent Russell Martin is on his way to a big payday in the off-season, but Pirates GM Neal Huntington still intends to keep the catcher in a Pirates uniform.

  15. Joe Maddon on league-wide drop in offense: “The hitter’s at a total disadvantage right now”

    Sep 21, 2014, 9:25 PM EDT

    Joe Maddon Joe Maddon

    Joe Maddon’s Rays are just one piece of the puzzle that has been the MLB-wide drop in offense over the last five years.

  16. Jurickson Profar won’t play in the Arizona Fall League due to shoulder soreness

    Sep 21, 2014, 8:35 PM EDT

    Jurickson Profar Jurickson Profar

    More bad news for the snakebitten Rangers: Jurickson Profar won’t play in the Arizona Fall League due to lingering soreness in his right shoulder.

  17. Marcus Stroman’s six-game suspension reduced to five games

    Sep 21, 2014, 7:45 PM EDT

    Marcus Stroman Marcus Stroman

    Marcus Stroman’s suspension for throwing at Caleb Joseph’s head has been reduced from six to five games.

  18. Corey Kluber struck out 14 batters in a second consecutive start

    Sep 21, 2014, 6:55 PM EDT

    Corey Kluber Corey Kluber

    Corey Kluber is a pretty good pitcher. He became the first pitcher since Randy Johnson in 2004 to strike out 14+ batters in back-to-back starts.

Featured video

Patience finally paying off for Royals fans
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. R. Castillo (2920)
  2. D. Ortiz (2030)
  3. A. Pagan (2020)
  4. M. Trout (2018)
  5. A. Pujols (1974)
  1. J. Hamilton (1908)
  2. N. Arenado (1848)
  3. G. Stanton (1817)
  4. H. Ramirez (1804)
  5. C. Kershaw (1775)