La Russa, who retired after leading the Cardinals to the World Series title last year, invited his entire Cardinals coaching staff to join him in Kansas City -- Dave Duncan (pitching), Derek Lilliquist (bullpen), Mark McGwire (hitting), Dave McKay (first-base coach, currently with the Chicago Cubs) and Jose Oquendo (third-base coach).
"He called last winter and let us all know that he accepted to manage the All-Star Game this year and gave us word of warning that we were going to be invited and gave us time to think about it," Pettini said. "The All-Star Game is such a great event, and Major League Baseball does such a great job with it. Talking to my wife, she said, 'If that's Tony's last game, I know you want to be there.' He's meant too much to me over the last 15 years, all the years in St. Louis; I wouldn't miss it for the world."
La Russa also named Brewers manager Ron Roenicke and Mets manager Terry Collins as his NL coaches. Collins was an NL coach while manager of the Astros in 1995 under NL manager Felipe Alou at the All-Star Game in Arlington.
Pettini said he hopes La Russa gives him a chance to vouch for some of the Astros' deserving players.
"I certainly hope if he has to pick a player or two from here, I hope he does call," he said. "That way, I can get everyone's input from the staff and hopefully take one or two guys with me."