On Friday, the St. Louis Cardinals finished one of the most improbable World Series champion runs in Major League Baseball history as they defeated the Texas Rangers 6-2 in Game 7 in front of a record crowd at Busch Stadium. And less than 24 hours after the team’s victory parade, manager Tony LaRussa has announced that he will retire.
“Tony leaves behind a legacy of success that will always be rememered as one of the most successful eras in Cardinals history,” chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said at the announcement. “I knew this day would come. I just hoped that it wouldn’t.”
(Via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
A friend emailed me this morning to ask if I knew what the Cardinals’ press conference was going to be about, and I, like most, assumed it was to announce that the team had picked up Yadier Molina’s option, even though that would be silly to announce when it’s plain as day. This makes a lot more sense, despite the fact that I’m in total “Aw, schucks” mode right now.
LaRussa was the definition of polarizing – Cardinals fans loved him and opposing fans hated him. But Cardinals fans also loved to hate him, and I think he loved making everyone want to rip their hair out in frustration. He retires with the third most wins as a manager in MLB history, and if he had stayed another season he would have undoubtedly passed John McGraw for second. Instead, he’ll settle for his three World Series rings and knowing that he gets the last laugh.