Tony La Russa did what only a select few can accomplish. He went out on top.
In a press conference at Busch Stadium the morning after the World Series victory parade, the manager of the St. Louis Cardinals publicly announced his decision to retire after 16 years leading the club from its dugout.
The 67-year-old disclosed that he first told ownership and senior management that he was considering retirement in late August. La Russa had a difficult season physically, leaving the team for a period in May as he dealt with a painful outbreak of shingles.
La Russa executed one of his finest managerial performances in 2011, guiding the Redbirds from 10 ½ games back in the Wild Card race in late August. He dealt with a long series of player injuries and had to mix in a variety of new personnel during the season. The Cards reached the postseason for the ninth time during his tenure with the team and the second time in the past five seasons since the 2006 World Championship.
Overall, La Russa ...