Like my colleague Justin, I also decided to put together an all-Tony La Russa team. Some of these decisions were hard. Others were a piece of cake.
Catcher: Yadier Molina
First Baseman: Albert Pujols
Second Baseman: Fernando Vina
Third Baseman: Scott Rolen
Short Stop: Edgar Renteria
Left Field: Matt Holliday
Center Field: Jim Edmonds
Right Field: J.D. Drew
When making my all-TLR team picks, some choices were no-brainers like Jim Edmonds and Scott Rolen. I opted to have a guy like David Freese coming off the bench rather than starting. In his prime, Scott Rolen is the best defensive third baseman to have played in the major leagues.
At first base, it was the easiest decision by far. Albert Pujols is one of the greatest players to play the game and there’s nobody else you want at first base except for maybe Mark McGwire.
Second Base was one of the hardest to choose because there’s no player that really stands out at the position. Sure, there were some notables to play second base while Tony managed.
Of all the short stops, Edgar Renteria put in the longest time although David Eckstein was a fan favorite during his years.
Turning the attention over to the outfield, it seemed like every season, there was somebody new to the team starting in right field. Don’t get me wrong, I considered Larry Walker but ultimately, I went with Ryan Ludwick coming off the bench. I thought about placing Lance at the starting spot for right field but had him off the bench. The same goes for Ray Lankford.
As far as the pitching goes, I think that’s the best rotation you can get under the La Russa years in St. Louis. Pre-breakdown, Ankiel was one of the best new prospects in the game to hit the big leagues. Matt Morris was a fan favorite while he was in St. Louis–so much that I hated when he left the club for San Francisco.
There were fan favorites that I considered like Willie McGee, but he was already on the decline by the time he finished out his career in St. Louis.