Tony LaRussa Retires: Why It Means That Albert Pujols Will Leave Cardinals

Robert Knapel@@RobertKnapel_BRCorrespondent IOctober 31, 2011

ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 30: Manager Tony LaRussa of the St. Louis Cardinals acknowledges the celebrating crowd inside Busch Stadium on October 30, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Szczepanski/Getty Images)
Ed Szczepanski/Getty Images

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, Tony La Russa is retiring from baseball.

La Russa has chosen to go out as a champion. The 2011 World Series was the third title that the 67-year-old manager has won. He had previously led the Cardinals to a championship in 2006 and led the Oakland Athletics to a crown in 1989.

The list of La Russa's accomplishments are very impressive. On top of the three aforementioned titles, La Russa won six pennants, three with the Cardinals and three with the Athletics. A four-time Manager of the Year award winner, La Russa is third all-time in wins with 2,728. He trails just the legendary John McGraw and Hall of Famer Connie Mack.

It seems certain that La Russa will be headed to Cooperstown as well.

Throughout his storied career, La Russa has had the honor of coaching some of the game's best players including Albert Pujols, Rickey Henderson and Jim Edmonds.

This move could lead to a major shakeup in St. Louis. The managerial change now adds even more uncertainty to the Albert Pujols situation.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

There were already a number of reasons why Pujols would consider leaving St. Louis, but the managerial opening will be another factor.

With Tony La Russa gone, there will be changes coming to the organization. Pujols will likely choose not to sign with the Cardinals until he knows who the team's manager is.

La Russa and Pujols were very close throughout Pujols' career and La Russa has helped Pujols turn into the player that he is. He has never played under another manager during his major league career.

Losing La Russa takes away some of the appeal of returning to St. Louis for Pujols. Both had incredible drive that was practically unmatched by others in their respective positions around the league.

If Pujols does not see this same drive and dedication from the Cardinals' new managerial choice, it could cause him to leave St. Louis.

Tony La Russa has left the St. Louis Cardinals as a World Champion and now Albert Pujols may be leaving as one as well.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.