Monday, October 31, 2011

Tony LaRussa Retires as Cardinals Manager

Even as this writer's fingers are strolling along the keyboard, Tony LaRussa's voice is speaking in the background taking questions as to why he is retiring as the manager of the St. Louis Cardinals. Twitter is aflame with the sudden and surprising news. It's a shocker. The timing, according to LaRussa had nothing to do with the final outcome of the Cardinals' championship season. He says there are eight factors that all led to his decision. Even so, what a way to go out, as the championship manager of 2011.

Those who have read this writer for a long time understand that Tony LaRussa has never been a favorite here. He was the Don Shula of baseball. Arrogant? Yes. Bullheaded? Yes. His way or the highway? Yes. But those of you who have visited here often also know the great respect that this writer has had for Tony LaRussa as one of the best managers the majors has ever seen. Three world titles and six pennants to go along with a .536 winning percentage over 33 years of managing says it all.

It's too early to digest what all this means for the Cardinals moving forward. They've lost LaRussa. Is Albert Pujols next? Who knows. We'll have plenty of time to digest it all in the days ahead. For now, there is undeniable shock that Tony LaRussa is walking away from one of the best jobs in baseball. He is bowing out on top of the game. 

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