LaRussa retires

Whether you love or hate the St. Louis Cardinals, this had to be a surprise

Cropped picture of Tony La Russa on the outfie...

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The Cardinals announced this morning that manager Tony La Russa has retired after 33 seasons in a major-league dugout, the last 16 seasons of which was spent with the Cardinals.

“Tony leaves behind a legacy of success that will always be remembered as one of the most successful eras in Cardinals history,” chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said at the announcement.

“I knew this day would come. I just hoped that it wouldn’t.”

La Russa said he told owner Bill DeWitt and the players Sunday evening of his decision. He said he actually made his decision to retire in August, and informed general manager John Mozeliak at the time.

“There isn’t one (factor) that dominates (my decision),” La Russa said at the news conference. “They all just come together telling you your time is over.

“We went through the season and I felt that this just feels like it’s time to end it and I think it’s going to be great for the Cardinals to refresh what’s going on here.

“I’m looking forward to what’s ahead. I’m ready to do something different.”

And that decision being made in August when the Cardinals were on the outside looking in when it came to the playoff race?  Just a coincidence apparently.

“That’s a good connection to make because of the coincidence, but it’s inaccurate,” he said.

Congratulations Tony on being able to go out in style and on top after managing the Cardinals to a World Series win.  Best of luck in retirement.
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R.I.P. George Steinbrenner

Condolences to the Steinbrenner family.

George Steinbrenner, who rebuilt the New York Yankees into a sports empire with a mix of bluster and big bucks that polarized fans all across America, died Tuesday. He had just celebrated his 80th birthday July 4.

Steinbrenner had a heart attack, was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Fla., and died at about 6:30 a.m, a person close to the owner told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team had not disclosed those details.

His death was the second in three days to rock the Yankees. Bob Sheppard, the team’s revered public address announcer from 1951-07, died Sunday at 99.

For more than 30 years, Steinbrenner lived up to his billing as “the Boss,” a nickname he earned and clearly enjoyed as he ruled with an iron fist. While he lived in Tampa he was a staple on the front pages of New York newspapers.

“He was an incredible and charitable man,” his family said in a statement. “He was a visionary and a giant in the world of sports. He took a great but struggling franchise and turned it into a champion again.”

Steinbrenner’s mansion, on a leafy street in an older neighborhood of south Tampa, was quiet Tuesday morning. Private security guards milled around on the empty circular driveway inside the iron gates. A police officer took up a position outside the gates to turn away reporters and keep traffic moving along the narrow street. News vehicles lined the other side of the street.

Steinbrenner was known for feuds, clashing with Yankees great Yogi Berra and hiring manager Billy Martin five times while repeatedly fighting with him. But as his health declined, Steinbrenner let sons Hal and Hank run more of the family business.

Steinbrenner was in fragile health for years, resulting in fewer public appearances and pronouncements. Yet dressed in his trademark navy blue blazer and white turtleneck, he was the model of success: The Yankees won seven World Series championships, 11 American League pennants and 16 AL East titles after his reign began in 1973.

“Few people have had a bigger impact on New York over the past four decades than George Steinbrenner,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement. “George had a deep love for New York, and his steely determination to succeed combined with his deep respect and appreciation for talent and hard work made him a quintessential New Yorker.” (Source: AP)

Love or hate the Yankees, one has to admire George’s drive and determination to be successful.

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