Talk about going out on top. Tony La Russa has announced his retirement mere days after winning his third World Series. La Russa's legacy is that of a taciturn tactical genius, a behind-the-scenes field general whose moves could be as maddening as they were inspired. It's difficult to argue with his results -- a .536 winning percentage over 33 years, three World Series titles and plenty of pennants. His retirement will leave several other managers jockeying for the position of best active skipper. That being said, is he the greatest ever?
Can the Cardinals win without La Russa?
All of this depends on Albert Pujols returning next year, but the Cardinals could have a tough road to the World Series in 2012. They just barely made the playoffs this season and were the recipients of some timely hitting during the World Series.
Greatest Cardinal ever?
La Russa's legacy with the Cardinals is clear: two World Series titles and a pretty high winning percentage in the regular season.
Pujols is a free agent this offseason, and it's tough to think of a player who could command more money on the open market. La Russa's retirement could mean something for Pujols' chances of returning, but it's not clear what that would be yet.
Will he stay retired?
La Russa wouldn't be the first manager to come back from retirement. Conventional wisdom says he'll take a non-managing job in baseball.