‘Late Show’: Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa on Why He Retired

by | November 1, 2011 at 9:32 AM | The Late Show with David Letterman

Tony La Russa with David Letterman on the "Late Show" (CBS)

Tony La Russa with David Letterman on the "Late Show" (CBS)

World Series-winning St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa stopped by the “Late Show” last night, Commissioner’s Trophy in tow, to talk about his team’s miracle win. Of course, the legendary manager’s retirement, which was announced earlier that day, was the main topic of conversation.

David Letterman was gracious with La Russa, incredulous that he’s going to hang it up after 33 years of managing (and three championships): “You look like a kid to me,” said Letterman, who is three years younger than the 67-year-old future Hall of Famer. But La Russa had a good reason why he decided to retire, a decision he made in August.

“It got to where I was taking things personal. We had a strategy that I took a little personally, but it was effective, and the players got so far ahead ¬†you couldn’t screw it up. It worked, but I thought, that’s not really the place I should be.” Sounds like maybe he wasn’t on the same page with management, but it’s hard to tell from the quote what he really meant, does it? Anyway, this will be the first time in 50 years that La Russa will not be part of professional baseball, and he said it’ll be tough when spring comes around and he’s not on the field in some capacity.

Later in the interview, he described his strategy to keep his teem motivated after their incredible Game Six comeback, where they were one strike away from elimination twice. He, his staff and the veteran players told the team to “put Game Six in a box and never think about it again.” That proved to be the difference, as they won Game Seven 6-2.

Watch La Russa on the “Late Show”:

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