In 2011, the St. Louis Cardinals walked away as World Series Champions behind 66-year old Tony La Russa. He retired at the top of his profession following the season after 33 years, 2728 wins, six pennants and three World Series titles.
Now at the age 76, LaRussa has the potential opportunity to return to the dugout where it all began, with the White Sox in 1979. Senior advisor of baseball operations for the Los Angeles Angels, La Russa was given permission to interview for the White Sox managerial position.
The position opened last week after general managers Rick Hahn indicated that the organization and Rick Renteria decided to go their separate way. This was somewhat of a surprising move considering that this year the White Sox put together their first winning season since 2012.
The White Sox are looking for a manager with experience not only in terms of seasoning, but in terms of playoffs and World Series championships. Hahn stated that recent October championship experience is helpful. La Russa checks off most of the boxes with the exception of the recent experience, as he’s been out of the dugout for nine years.
The relationship between La Russa and White Sox chairman, Jerry Reinsdorf, goes back over 30 years and have become like brothers, according to Reinsdorf. In an interview in 2014, Reinsdorf said that naming a general manager that shouldn’t have been hired, who in turn, fired La Russa, was his biggest regret.
It seems that La Russa would be a perfect fit to lead the young, talented White Sox moving forward. The process of finding the new manager is in its infancy stages, but the thoughts of La Russa back in the dugout are more than intriguing. The question is whether or not, at age 76, La Russa has the desire to return to the dugout. At the very least, an interview with La Russa will give Reinsdorf another chance to soak in all the information the Hall of Fame manager has to offer.