"That's all I ever did for 50 years. At the end of the day, you are either happy or sad. But no, I had my time. I passed the baton and now I see how much fun it is to second guess."
La Russa was in Chicago on Saturday, along with Greg Luzinski, LaMarr Hoyt, Ron Kittle and Mike Squires, for a private reception honoring the 30th anniversary of their 1983 'Winning Ugly" American League West champions. La Russa mentioned that he had voted for this weekend with the White Sox playing the A's, whom La Russa managed for 10 years.
That 1983 squad shares an unwanted common bond with the 2013 version of the White Sox, in that La Russa's crew floundered out of the gates to a 16-24 record and sat seven games out of first on May 29. They finished the season with 99 victories.
"Sometimes when you struggle, that's when teams fall apart. They start pointing fingers. We just stayed close, stayed close and kept competing, and pretty soon they got it straight," said La Russa of '83. "Then we started rolling. That was a nice test of our tightness. It can get away from you in a hurry if you aren't careful. They refused to not come together.
"One of the beauties of the season is it's six months. You just can't get discouraged and you can't try to fix it all in one day. Just do the thing right bit by bit and it gets better. It's a test over six months. They have a great attitude here. Good coaching staff. Robin [Ventura] is solid. They will be fine."
White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and La Russa hold a brotherly bond dating back to La Russa's days as White Sox manager from 1979-86. But don't look for La Russa to return to the White Sox in any sort of official capacity.
"That'd probably be the worst way, that'd be the end of our relationship," said La Russa with a laugh. "I think the city has really come to realize what a gift [Reinsdorf] is as an owner.
"Both franchises [the White Sox and Bulls], he really cares, he really doesn't want it for himself. He's got a legion of friends and family like myself that he takes care of. I have no better friend than Jerry Reinsdorf, and I pull hard for him and his teams, both of them."