Former MLB manager Tony La Russa will be here at the top of the hour to take your questions!
Tony is here!
How have you been keeping up with baseball to help you make your choices for the all-star team?
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
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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
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.
At what point did you realize it was time to retire? Was there a specific time or moment?
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.
What's the biggest managerial difference in how you would run the 2012 St. Louis Cardinals and how they are currently being managed?
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.
You've seen the best of Albert - do you se him reaching 30/100/.300 this year?
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?
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?
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.
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.