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Tony La Russa Retires On Top After Defeating Rangers

After managing the St. Louis Cardinals to an unlikely World Series championship, where they defeated the Texas Rangers in a wild, back-and-forth seven-game series, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa announced he would retire from baseball on Monday.

The 67-year old La Russa had managed for 35 seasons with the Chicago White Sox, Oakland A's and Cardinals, winning three World Series titles and 2,728 regular season games, third all-time among managers.

"I think this just feels like it's time to end it," he said at a Monday press conference. "Other than some personal attachments, I feel good that this is the right decision."

It was apparently not spur-of-the-moment, as La Russa informed St. Louis' front office back in August that 2011 would be his last season. He said he had no interest in returning to managing or working as a GM, though he would like to remain involved with baseball on some level.

Throughout the World Series, the styles and tactics of Rangers manager Ron Washington were compared to La Russa's, often unfavorably. Washington, at 59 in only his fifth full season as a manager, is a relative neophyte, but Texas' two consecutive trips to the World Series have given him invaluable managerial experience in October.

With La Russa's retirement, Washington is tied with Detroit's Jim Leyland, San Francisco's Bruce Bochy and Philadelphia's Charlie Manuel for most World Series appearances (two) among active managers. However, the other three all have one championship to Washington's zero.

For the latest news and analysis on whether the Rangers can make it three AL pennants in a row, check out Lone Star Ball. And for the latest hot-stove analysis check out our MLB news hub.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.