And yet, would any Cardinal fan have traded him for anybody over the last 15 years? La Russa got there in 1996, which is the year the Cardinals busted out of their 90's malaise. He's taken the Cards to three World Series in his decade and a half in St. Louis, winning two of them. He may be maddening, but he wins. It's hard to argue with that. It makes you wonder what might have happened if La Russa would have stuck around in Oakland during the A's "Moneyball Era" teams. There were some very talented, young players on that roster. It would have been very interesting to see what he would have done with those teams, especially against the "late dynasty" Yankee teams. Would La Russa have gotten Jeremy Giambi to slide? Probably not, but it's fun to imagine. His run with the White Sox was before my time and I'm not terribly knowledgeable about it, other than Hawk Harrelson fired him and there are some White Sox fans that still aren't too happy about it.
Something I wish I knew more about was La Russa outside of baseball. I know he's huge into humanitarian causes, founding an animal rescue society and appearing in a ton of promotional material regarding animals. It's well known he is a lawyer, though he never had to fall back on that degree. But that's about it. But when you see pictures like this one, how can you not want to know more?
Anyway, I'm sure we'll all be waiting with baited breath to hear La Russa's Hall of Fame speech here in a few years. It will be very well deserved, even if I never wanted him to manage the Cubs in the least.