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Thanks for Everything

by L.S. Murphy

Shocked. Surprised. Amazed. And grateful.

As a long-time fan of the Cardinals, Tony LaRussa's announcement sent me on another wave of emotions. The third such in four days. From the incredible World Series win on Friday to the parade on Saturday, the roller coaster ride hit another hill today as Tony retired.

And this is only the beginning for the Cardinals this off-season.

Not only does John Mozeliak have work to sign Albert Pujols, he has to find someone to fill the gaping hole in the dugout. Someone who can manage with the same passion and controversy the fans have grown accustomed to over the last sixteen years. Someone who will fit in with this city and this team. Someone who will continue the winning traditions of the St. Louis Cardinals organization.

It seems an insurmountable task and I, for once, am glad I'm not in Mo's shoes.

Tony LaRussa's legacy in St. Louis won't be just about the two World Series Championships he brought here. It won't be that he managed the greatest player of our generation. It won't be his love/hate relationship with the fans and media.

LaRussa brought baseball back to this city.

After Whiteyball, this proud organization hit a losing skid. Once Tony accepted the job, the franchise immediately changed. People remembered how great baseball was and could be. The spark came back. Going to Busch Stadium was more than a Sunday outing again.

Don't get me wrong, baseball's been alive in this city for a long time. But Tony LaRussa was like a doctor, he made it all better.

Whether you loved him or hated him or were indifferent, Tony LaRussa's tenure in St. Louis was a roller coaster of emotions, both good and bad. And it will be enshrined in Cooperstown one day.

Thanks for everything, TLR. You will be missed.

Follow L.S. Murphy on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/LSMurphy

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Cardinals Mix blog featured writers LS Murphy,Brian F. Logush
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