With the recent retirement of Tony La Russa last month, many experts have weighed in on his greatness and otherworldly value to the game of baseball. The real question is, how do we as fans appraise a manager’s contributions exactly?
When a baseball manager retires, sometimes it’s hard to really feel any emotion. As a fan, you dig deep to emit sadness, but only if he is a true legend of the game. When we hear that a manager has retired, we do feel bad, but not in the same way as we would if a ballplayer retired.
At the end of the day, it’s extremely difficult to get emotional during a manager’s retirement retrospective. There are very few in-game instances that allow for us to cheer on the manager. All that can be done is to measure him based on his pile of wins and number of championships. And La Russa has his fair share of both. However, there is more to La Russa’s career than just win totals. As a true innovator and visionary, La Russa will be lauded for the intricacies he administered to change the game of baseball.
Taken as a whole, La Russa’s career is one of the best in his sport’s history. He built his managerial résumé with great independent stints with three different teams. But individually, how does each stop measure on by itself?
With one of his teams being with the Oakland Athletics, where does La Russa rank among this franchise’s greatest managers? Here’s a look at the top five skippers in Athletics franchise history.