Chat with Tony La Russa
La Russa had his No. 10 retired by the Cardinals.
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, we'll be joined by legendary MLB manager Tony La Russa as he stops by to chat about the season and his job managing the National League this year in the 2012 All-Star Game (July 10 on Fox).
Last season, La Russa, @TonyLaRussa, took the St. Louis Cardinals to their second World Series title during his 15-year tenure before retiring, becoming the first manager to retire following a World Series win.
La Russa's 5,097 games managed are the second most in MLB history and his 2,728 wins are the third most all-time.
Send your questions now and join La Russa Friday at 10 a.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (9:48 AM)
Former MLB manager Tony La Russa will be here at the top of the hour to take your questions!
Buzzmaster (9:58 AM)
Tony is here!
How have you been keeping up with baseball to help you make your choices for the all-star team?
Tony La Russa (10:03 AM)
Fortunately, in working for MLB directly for the commissioner, I've been to a lot of games. There's always the morning, where you do what you would do if you were managing, with studying the box scores to stay current.
how was your nascar expierence at sonoma? do you have a favorite driver? thanks
Tony La Russa (10:04 AM)
The experience was spectacular. I was so impressed with the drivers in how they connected. I was impressed with how NASCAR provides the fans with a chance to see how the things go in the garage. We have a cause with animals and Ryan Newman has helped. Jeff Gordon I met the other day. Dale. They as a group have their feet on the ground. I was veyr impressed.
Have you picked up managing any Little League teams or high school teams this spring to make sure your managerial mind is sharp?
Tony La Russa (10:05 AM)
I have not picked up of the kids playing, but all of these games I'm watching, I'm second guessing both managers all of the time. So I'm as sharp as can be.
You managed over 5,000 games, does one or two stand out to you?
Tony La Russa (10:06 AM)
There are a whole bunch of them because I'm so fortunate to start with the White Sox. The first playoff series we had, we got eliminated by Baltimore. It was 0-0 through 9. In Oakland, the Gibson game. With what we did currently, the Game 7. Game 5 was a classic. The championship game against Milwaukee. I have a lot of games that I can remember almost every pitch.
Is it hard to not have bias when picking the players for the all-star team?
Tony La Russa (10:07 AM)
Good question. I actually think that bias, as long as its based on being impressed with how a player competes and the type of teammate he is is a good thing. You're supposed to pick up an edge when you do that. Not just guys for St. Louis, but you play against guys that you wish were on your team. Yeah, I'm biased for those guys.
How do you go about the process of selecting players for the all-star game?
Tony La Russa (10:08 AM)
The process has changed from my first experiences in 89, 90, 91. In those days, the fans picked the starting lineup, you picked all of the extra men and the pitchers. Now, the fans pick the starting lineup plus eight pitchers. The players add another 8 to that 16. So you have 24 of the 34 man roster picked for you. You just look and see and make sure every team is represented. You want to see that you have depth at different positions. You don't have as many picks as you used to.
Have you gotten the itch to get back in the game at any point this season?
Tony La Russa (10:09 AM)
Yes. Definitely. I miss the relationships you have with teammates and within the organization. I miss the winning and losing. I just don't miss the dugout. Maybe some day I will rejoin the front office some place.
Is there one thing you've done since you retired that you haven't done in a while because you couldn't due to your baseball obligations?
Tony La Russa (10:10 AM)
I think mostly it's just making a lot of decisions about where you're going to go, though I get directions from the commissioner's office. For all of those years, I had a schedule and you go where the schedule tells you. Now there's some freedom of where to go and how long to stay.
would you rather have mike trout or bryce harper on your team
Tony La Russa (10:11 AM)
I don't like not answering questions, because I know that's frustrating to someone who asks. I haven't seen those guys in person, so I don't know how to answer. I do know that Washington is happy with Harper. And I had lunch with Albert and he's impressed with Trout.
Mustafa Mahmood (Saint Louis, MO)
At what point did you realize it was time to retire? Was there a specific time or moment?
Tony La Russa (10:12 AM)
I was certain right there toward the end of June into July. We were playing well at the time, but there was a bunch of stuff I put together and it was telling me. The Cardinals needed a fresh look. 16 years is a long time in one place. I didn't tell anybody until a month, just in case I changed my mind.
Clay Defayette (New York)
What's the biggest managerial difference in how you would run the 2012 St. Louis Cardinals and how they are currently being managed?
Tony La Russa (10:14 AM)
I don't know that there is a difference. I think that Mike played for me for five years. He knows that we had a style of how we competed. He was a part of putting that together. I think we all had to go through what they're going through with the injuries. Experience is important and he's going to get better and better through that, but he's doing a good job already.
Brian (Fort Worth)
You've seen the best of Albert - do you se him reaching 30/100/.300 this year?
Tony La Russa (10:15 AM)
If he stays healthy, the answer is yes. He's up to .270 as of last night. A good thing is happening is Albert really responds to a team having a chance to win. The Angels are getting healthy, they're playing well, they're in contention. Albert will respond.
Which team do you think is the best so far this season?
Tony La Russa (10:16 AM)
Woo...good question. At this point in the season, in the first month, St. Louis was making a claim. And Washington. Now the Dodger and the Giants. I think the beauty of the season is whether you start fast or slow, over 6 months the best will be determined. Right now it's close. A lot will depend on health.
What are your thoughts on alber pujols leaving the cards to go to the angels, and him having one of his worst seasons?
Tony La Russa (10:18 AM)
I think it's a system we have. I don't think you blame Albert. You don't blame the Cardinals. He was a free agent and the Angels really wanted him and could play him premium money. The Cardinals really wanted him and couldn't pay him. Early in the year Albert was dealing with the newness and his family wasn't with him. Once he gets to his groove he'll be fine.
Tony La Russa (10:19 AM)
Two things before I go: 1) Baseball's all-star game is the most competitive and the most entertaining. I hope you pay attention. 2) We have a book called "One Last Strike" coming out that will explain how we pulled off the championship.