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Old 10-18-2010, 04:39 PM   #1 (permalink)

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La Russa will return for 16th year with Cardinals

ST. LOUIS -- Tony La Russa ended the usual postseason suspense, agreeing to a 16th season as St. Louis Cardinals manager.

The team announced a deal Monday that included a mutual option for the 2012 season. Financial terms were not disclosed on the new contract, finalized 15 days after the end of a disappointing season that left the 66-year-old La Russa wondering if he'd worn out his welcome.

"For the last 10 days or so, Tony and I have had daily dialogue," general manager John Mozeliak said. "And I'm happy to report that we're welcoming him back."

Mozeliak said La Russa got assurances that all parties were on the same page regarding how to best build a contender.

Bullpen coach Marty Mason will not be retained, but the rest of coaching staff will be offered contracts this week. The team said it would fill the bullpen coach vacancy from within.

Mozeliak indicated that he and Mason had philosophical differences.

"You look at this group of coaches, they've been together a long time, and I think having some new faces up here certainly would help," the general manager said. "It was time to make a change."

La Russa has a franchise-record 1,318 wins since joining the team as manager in 1996 and is third on the major league career victory list, needing 126 wins to pass John McGraw for second place. He has managed 4,935 games, second on the list.

The Cardinals have won eight division titles, two National League pennants and a World Series title in 2006 under La Russa, but the franchise has not made it to the postseason in three of the last four seasons.
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