‘I know how I’ll be judged:’ Under scrutiny, White Sox manager Tony La Russa not afraid to face his critics


a man in a baseball game: White Sox manager Tony La Russa talks with umpire Jim Reynolds at Yankee Stadium.

Tony La Russa could have stayed in his job with the Los Angeles Angels, traveled at his leisure, flaunted his Hall of Fame ring and rode off in the glorious California sunset.

There was nothing left for the man to prove.

He already won more games than all but two managers in history, six pennants and three World Series, and left on top of the baseball world with the St. Louis Cardinals winning the 2011 World Series championship in his final game.

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Yet, when White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf called in October, gauging whether he was interested in one last rodeo, La Russa was all in.The Hollywood story was to win another World Series championship for Reinsdorf, teach a young team how the game should be played, and be forever revered in Chicago as if he were Mike Ditka in spikes.