St Louis Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa Retire so Who Replaces Him?
Monday, October 31, 2011
by Bodog Sportsbook
Some surprising news on Monday out of Major League Baseball as lock Hall of Famer Tony La Russa has decided to retire as the manager of the St Louis Cardinals rather than come back and defend the team’s 2011 World Series championship. St. Louis has opened at 14/1 on Bodog Sportsbook’s MLB baseball futures odds to win the title again in 2012.
Of course the Cards’ run this season was epic, from a 10.5-game deficit in the wild-card race in late August to arguably the greatest World Series win ever in Game 6 against the Texas Rangers. So it’s hard to blame La Russa for going out on top. It was La Russa’s third World Series title. He retires third on the all-time wins list, 35 behind second-place John McGraw. In addition to this season, he won championships in Oakland in 1989 and St. Louis in 2006.
La Russa, who was with the Cards for 16 seasons, 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. Mozeliak said the team will have a "long list" of candidates for a job and that any new manager would have the autonomy to hire his own coaching staff if he wished. This could be important because current Cards pitching coach Dave Duncan is considered the best at his job in baseball. Duncan could follow La Russa into retirement.
Some early names mentioned for the Cards’ job: current third-base coach Jose Oquendo, former Red Sox manager Terry Francona, current St. Louis hitting coach Mark McGwire, former Mets manager Bobby Valentine and Braves third-base coach and former Cardinal Terry Pendleton (probably the favorite). Of course any new manager will want to know whether free agent Albert Pujols stays in St. Louis.
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