Personal investment had always been a staple of Tony La Russa's baseball philosophy. But in 2011, in what was to be the last of his 33 years as a manager, consistently living up to his own expectations had become increasingly difficult.
Managing not only his team but the game itself had always come naturally for La Russa. Before 2011 he had been the mastermind behind two World Series championships and five league championship series appearances.
And yet, for three or four years, La Russa had found difficulty in concentrating the way he once did. It made him wonder if he could continue to set the standard for his players when he was struggling on a day-to-day basis to pour himself into the game he had devoted 50 years to.
La Russa asked himself how he, in good faith, could ask players to follow his leadership when, deep down, he was wrestling with just how much more he could give?
The more the questions arose, the deeper he delved deeper into himself.