This upcoming weekend Tony LaRussa will join the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.
His head will be put on a plaque (sans team cap) and that plaque will be hung in Cooperstown NY to serve as a reminder that he was one of the all-time great managers of baseball.
A deserved honor, for sure.
But since 2011, LaRussa has made it clear that his time with the Cardinals was exactly that – his time with the Cardinals. No more, no less. A good run that ran its course.
After getting his number immediately retired by the Cardinals, LaRussa repaid the organization’s honor by announcing that he was equal parts Chicago White So(ck), Oakland A and St. Louis Cardinal – none more than the other.
A curious thank you for 16 years of unwavering support.
He also recused himself of duties with MLB as a league advisor so he could become ‘Chief Baseball Officer‘ with the Arizona Diamondbacks, knee-capping any thought that TLR did harbor a special place in his heart for the Cardinals. He’s in charge of a team that is actively seeking out ways to beat the Cardinals.
Now, the Oakland A’s are staking their claim to LaRussa:
It’s open season for LaRussa celebrations!
He’s going in the HOF as a generalized notion of ‘manager’. Gets a new job with Arizona. Inducted into the St. Louis Cardinals HOF. Is having a celebratory night in Oakland and, yes, the White Sox also have a bobblehead planned.
LaRussa. Never fails to be entertaining with this man.
It’ll be interesting to see just how this week shapes TLR’s forever legacy in St. Louis. The media coverage and his subsequent induction speech will be watched with a tilted head around Cardinals Nation.
Will he take the opportunity to be milquetoast and benevolent in equal parts to everyone? Does he tone down any support of the Cardinals since he’s in the employ of a competitor? Maybe he surprises us all with some inspirational rhetoric about our city and team? Or goes full Jordan?
The countdown is on…