Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa just wrapped up his 15th season with the ballclub, a season that LaRussa said was a weird season, saying there were times when the team played well and other times when they were scratching their heads trying to figure out what happened. Now the question that is looming…will LaRussa will return for another season.
LaRussa felt the team started pressing. After the sweep of Cincinnati and the opening series win over Chicago on August 14th, the team went 9-22 over the next month and went from one game up to seven games in back of the Reds. He said after the team lost two games to the Cubs, he felt them pressing and that is never a good sign for a team.
LaRussa turned 66 today and in his time with the Cardinals had just three seasons under .500. He will meet with GM John Mozeliak and CEO Bill DeWitt Jr. today to discuss his future.
There are several issues that must be brought up in the meeting today, such as what went wrong. There were defensive and baserunning lapses, something Cardinal teams have prided themselves on, but at times the mental mistakes were glaring. The minor league system doesn’t necessarily appear to be depleted, but a major question mark has to be the young pitchers that are coming up. What about the coaching staff? Outside of Mark McGwire, a new hire last season, the staff has stayed in place under LaRussa. Could their be changes there (outside of pitching coach Dave Duncan?)
Download a portion of Tony’s press conference as he talks about the future.
LaRussa is 125 wins behind John McGraw for second on the all-time managerial list and if he managed for two more seasons would reach that milestone and trail only Connie Mack, who owned and managed the Philadelphia A’s from 1901-1950.