Brett Blume

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) –  Less than 24 hours after showering their heroes with love – and a lot of ticker-tape – during the Parade of Champions, members of Cardinal Nation are in numb shock.

Longtime manager Tony La Russa announced he’s stepping down after 33 years as a Major League Baseball manager, the last 16 with the Cardinals.

“I just think it feels like it’s time to end it,” La Russa said of his career Monday morning at Busch Stadium.

Click the link below to listen to Tony La Russa entire press conference

Chris Carpenter reacts to Tony La Russa’s announcement

The announcement did not come as a surprise to team management.

La Russa said he told them sometime in late August, right around the time the Cardinals were at their low point more than 10 games out of the Wild Card race, that he was contemplating retirement.

Winning the World Series was icing on the cake, but La Russa said he was prepared to retire no matter the outcome of what turned out to be a magical 2011 post-season run.

TLR informed his players of his decision after Sunday night’s spectacular Parade of Champions and fireworks show at Busch Stadium.

He says some of them cried, and he also shed some tears.

Why come back the very next day after such a joyous celebration to drop his bombshell?

slp2011103104 Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa Announces His Retirement

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tonmy La Russa (C) pauses during an emotion part of his speech to reporters after announcing his retirement while General Manager John Mozeliak (R) and owner Bill DeWitt, Jr.,listen at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on October 31, 2011. (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

La Russa said he felt compelled to pull the trigger right away.

“The clock’s running on a lot of important stuff,” La Russa pointed out during his press conference, not the least of which is attempting to sign Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols to a new long-term contract.  “So I was just trying to be fair to the organization.”

La Russa, who guided St. Louis to nine post-season appearances, three pennants and two World Series titles, said it wasn’t an easy decision, especially after feeling the love from hundreds of thousands of fans Sunday.

“The support that you get here (in St. Louis), and Jack Buck used to talk about it all the time, is not just a passion it’s a fairness,” La Russa said.

He choked up on at least one occasion during the lengthy news conference, but remained composed as he talked about his future plans.

“Maybe buy a minor league team,” La Russa speculated, while also leaving the door open for a front-office position with Major League Baseball, or some other position connected to the game of baseball.

“I don’t know anything else,” he concluded.

No word yet on the timeline for a search to replace Tony La Russa as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals.


After winning the World Series, St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is retiring.

The announcement come at a news conference Monday at Busch Stadium.

The World Series win over Texas was the third for the 67-year-old.

Copyright KMOX Radio

Comments (34)
  1. Steve says:

    Congrats, Tony! Well deserved and what a way to go out!

  2. jason morse says:

    He could go to Texas and help the Rangers? ;-O

    1. Carl Curmudgeon says:

      The Rangers need a lot more than Tony La Russa.

    2. Daryl Kriefall says:

      Maybe he can work part time testing the illumination at ballparks around the league

  3. Jeff Farnsworth says:

    Being a Brewers fan all I can say is–Congats Tony–Anyone could only hope to have half the success you have had. On an opposite note–thanks for making the Cards fans feel bad so quickly (cmon people–I am being sarcastic–mostly)

  4. Htos1 says:

    I’m not even a STL fan but I love Coach La Russa.He’s been a household name in the entirety of adult life,an American standard.Thank you for a last taste of Americana that today’s generation will never truly know.God Bless and congrats.

  5. Dave says:

    Class act! He’s on the downhill side of a great career and knew when it was time to get out….Hall of Fame…here comes Tony!

  6. jim says:

    made it easy on mgmt. WS not withstanding, they wanted to get rid of him. Good move on his part. Don’t know him, but he seems like a stand up kind of guy

  7. Craig Brockman says:

    Drinks are on Tony in Jupiter, FL!

  8. john marshall says:

    wiyhin a year r two he will manage the Rede.cincy has the same breed of fans.

  9. Anon says:

    Well done Tony. Thank you for your amazing work and help bringing the Cardinals to the top time and time again.

  10. Anon says:

    Butthurt Ragner fan detected.

    It’s alright. Tony put a curse on your team, they’ll never win the World Series now

  11. krp says:

    Although it would be hard to see Pujols in a uniform other than a Cardinals uniform but,…. with the new stadium in Miami, it would be interesting to see the Marlins make a run after Pujols… That could be interesting…

    1. krp says:

      The thing is, with the ascendance of David Freese and Allen Craig, as far as the Cardinals are considered, Pujols could be actually an albatross. He rejected the offer they gave in the Spring but that was before these two guys make their impact. Remember, the Phillies gave up on Jim Thome because of Ryan Howard, and you all know how that worked out.

      I an not trying to stir the pot, I am just stating what is.

  12. D. Robert Hunter says:

    why couldn’t Robert spell whiners right? Because he’s a jerk…and a loser…and a lamer…and a moron…and an imbecile…that is why…

  13. Big Mike says:

    Luckiest manager in baseball,

  14. Cards and St. Louis--really classy says:

    Class act? – no way!!! Another DUI is probably right around the corner. The cards are not the classiest act and they will fall off the planet without their go to man Pujols. Freese??? Really?? More like Mr. Freeze He is a Mr. Glass and never misses a chance to be injured or offer much. If you think Allen Craig is the answer be prepared for an epic fail. If or when Pujols leaves, I hope you are still drunk and high from the World Series victory or you may just as well find a new team. The Red Birds will be dead birds and here’s to Mrak Mcguire being the classless POS he is being showcased by this team. What a joke St. Louis is the sewer and armpit of the world

    1. AMW says:

      Hmmmm……….. Where are you posting from? Philly? Milwaukee? Arlington?

      Go take your misplaced anger and do something useful with it.

    2. Ken says:

      You’ve got real problems, bud.

    3. Dana says:

      Wow, it sounds like you have a chip on your shoulder.

  15. Sanford says:

    He will come back to the Bay Area to take over the A’s, probably as a part owner.

  16. Steve says:

    Always liked LaRussa ever since he was managing the Chicago White Sox.
    Congrats to him on his long history of success.
    Well earned!

  17. Mike_88 says:

    I wasn’t rooting for the Cardinals, however when they would pan to their dugout on Tony La Russa, he looked like he was going through some vast realizations and didn’t know how many more he could take. It was good to see and I am glad it was such a monumental moment for him to finish a career.

  18. Eric Porvaznik says:

    Huge thanks for almost all you’ve done with the Cards, Tony! Now please be sure to take Cheater “No talking about the past” McGwire with ya. I’ve loved you as a manager since your days helming the ChiSox and A’s and want to get back to loving the Cardinals 100% ASAP.

  19. Mark Randall says:

    For more than three decades Tony has been a class act… Win with him… Lose with him… Laugh with him… Cry with him… It does NOT matter… This man has shown us just exactly how one can be a professional in an incredibly challenging professional environment…

    We’ll miss you, Tony… May the remainder of your life have a fair wind and a following sea…

    Thanks, so very much…

  20. David says:

    congrats Tony ,Its good to go out on top more than i can say for the losers dising him in this blog.,move out of your parents basement get a job they are hiring @ OWS in a town near you losers

  21. Dano says:

    I have always liked and respected Tony, and I am a Cubs fan! Go out on top, that is really sweet.

  22. GerryC says:

    Tony: You are a class act. Not only are you a great man and leader, but you are a inspiration for every person born below the North/South border of this world (LOL, this comes from a Bosox fan). Go realize your own dream, and stomp on all the losers that hate you. You have accomplished more than 99% of any poster here. May you have one hell of a retirement.

    Have fun buddy!! You deserve it! GerryC

  23. Daniel Staggers says:

    Good luck Tony, in all you do. I’m a NY Yankees die hard and was rooting for you. Not so much for any love of your team, but I JUST CAN’T STAND Nolin Ryan! Best to you and thanks for kicking Nolin’s butt.

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