Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa announces retirement after multiple procedures on his pacemaker

Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa announces retirement after multiple procedures on his pacemaker

Tony La Russa is retiring from managing.. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa is leaving the dugout for good. La Russa announced his retirement from managing Monday, weeks after he left the Chicago White Sox after undergoing a medical procedure on his pacemaker.

La Russa also announced that a “second health issue was also diagnosed” during a physical exam that makes it “impossible for me to be the White Sox manager in 2023.” La Russa did not explain the “second medical issue” while requesting “privacy related to my health issues.” He added that “my overall prognosis is good.”

“At no time this season did either issue negatively affect my responsibilities as White Sox manager,” La Russa’s statement reads. “However it has become obvious that the length of the treatment and recovery process for this second health issue makes it impossible for me to be the White Sox manager in 2023.”

La Russa leaves the game as one of the most accomplished managers in MLB history. In 35 years as a manager, La Russa won 2,897 games, claimed six pennants and won three World Series titles. Only Connie Mack has more wins as a manager.

La Russa’s managerial career spanned six decades. He spent his first eight and a half seasons with the White Sox. After being fired, La Russa joined the Oakland Athletics in 1986. Between 1988 and 1990, La Russa led the team to the World Series three straight seasons. The team won it all in 1989.

In 1996, La Russa joined the St. Louis Cardinals. He spent 16 seasons with the team, posting losing years just three times. La Russa led the Cardinals to the World Series three times, winning two. His final World Series victory came in 2011. La Russa retired after the season.

After a decade away from managing, La Russa was tabbed to lead the White Sox for the 2021 MLB season. The White Sox performed well in his first season, going 93-69. The team lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Houston Astros.

White Sox disappoint in Tony La Russa’s final season

Things fell apart in 2022. The White Sox stumbled out of the gate and never recovered. The team went 78-80 under La Russa and missed the playoffs, making them one of the biggest disappointments of the 2022 MLB season. La Russa received a fair amount of criticism for his unusual tactics. There were multiple instances in which he issued walks to hitters with 1-2 counts.

“Our team’s record this season is the final reality,” La Russa continued. “It is an unacceptable disappointment. There were some pluses, but too many minuses. In the major leagues, you either do or you don’t. …

“I was hired to provide positive, difference-making leadership and support. Our record is proof. I did not do my job.”

La Russa left the team in late August under doctor’s orders. He reportedly experienced an issue with his pacemaker, which doctors corrected. La Russa stayed away from the team for a few weeks under orders from his doctor.

It appeared La Russa was trending toward a return in September, but more tests resulted in yet another procedure, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. It was determined La Russa would not return for the rest of the 2022 MLB season.

The White Sox got off to a hot start under interim manager Miguel Cairo, but got swept in a pivotal series against the Cleveland Guardians. The team sputtered from there, going on an eight-game losing streak and getting eliminated from the postseason.

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