As a manager, Tony La Russa was known as a fierce competitor, never willing to give his opponents an inch, while constantly seeking methods to motivate his players.
Having retired from his post leading the St. Louis Cardinals after the 2011 World Championship season, the 68-year-old is now a special assistant to Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig. Perhaps that has led to the emergence of a softer, gentler La Russa.
Still, it was with some surprise this week that La Russa came out firmly in favor of post-series handshakes between MLB clubs. Despite being as strong of a baseball traditionalist as exists, he would like to see MLB adopt the long-standing hockey tradition of sportsmanship.
La Russa’s Cardinals once initiated such a move following a National League Division Series against Jim Tracy’s Dodgers, at the urging of Canadian-born outfielder Larry Walker. It was October 10, 2004.
It has not been done in the sport since.
In 2004, some complained about the fraternizatio...