Originally posted on khandor's sports blog  |  Last updated 10/31/11

Cardinals’ LaRussa announces retirement

Tony La Russa retired as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday, three days after winning a dramatic, seven-game World Series against the Texas Rangers.

“I think this just feels like it’s time to end it,” the 67-year-old La Russa said at a news conference at Busch Stadium.

The World Series win over Texas was the third of La Russa’s 33-year career. The manager guided the Cardinals to the championship despite being 10 1/2 games behind Atlanta on Aug. 25 for the final playoff spot in the National League.

La Russa retires third on the all-time wins list, 35 behind second-place John McGraw. He also won world titles in Oakland in 1989 and St. Louis in 2006 and becomes the first manager to retire immediately after his club won the World Series, according to STATS LLC.

“Other than some of the personal attachments, I feel good,” La Russa said. “I feel good that this is the right decision.”

La Russa said there wasn’t a single factor that led to his decision, but he began having doubts about returning for 2012 midway through the season. In late August he told general manager John Mozeliak and other team officials.

La Russa said the timing of those discussions — about the time the Cardinals appeared to be out of wild card contention before their miraculous run — was pure coincidence. He said he simply felt it was time to go, a feeling that didn’t change even as the Cardinals squeaked into the playoffs on the final day of the season, then upset the Phillies, Brewers and Rangers.

He spoke with little emotion at the news conference with one exception, when he paused to compose himself as he thanked his wife, Elaine, and two daughters for putting up without him over much of the past 33 years. But he did say his meeting with players after Sunday’s parade and celebration was short but emotional.

“Some grown men cried,” La Russa said, then he joked, “I kind of liked that because they made me cry a few times.”

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