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It's Official: TLR returns for 16th season as Cardinals manager

2010-10-18T15:02:00Z 2010-10-21T16:28:03Z It's Official: TLR returns for 16th season as Cardinals managerBY JOE STRAUSS jstrauss@post-dispatch.com stltoday.com
October 18, 2010 3:02 pm  • 

Tony La Russa will return in 2011 for a 16th season as Cardinals manager, the club announced this afternoon.

La Russa, 66, returns his entire coaching staff except for bullpen coach Marty Mason, whose dismissal was reported earlier today by the Post-Dispatch.

The club has scheduled a press conference to be attended by chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. and general manager John Mozeliak at 4:30 p.m. La Russa will be made available on Tuesday, according to the club.

Today's announcement ended a two-week mini-drama that began when La Russa openly questioned whether he remained an effective field leader for a team that Mozeliak at one point said had underachieved for much of the season.

Mozeliak, DeWitt and La Russa concluded discussions this weekend. La Russa returns on a one-year deal similar to what he requested last October. This contract also includes a mutual option for a second season, an element missing from La Russa's previous contract.

La Russa's return "is the icing on the cake, for us, for our team," said lefty reliever Trever Miller. "I love that Tony is coming back. He's our general. The army can't go forward without the general."

The winningest manager in franchise history and the third-winningest in the game's history, La Russa is on pace to pass John McGraw for the second-most managerial wins in two seasons. He has insisted such milestones didn't weigh in his decision but numerous confidantes, including his wife Elaine, have encouraged him to continue.

Except for hitting coach, La Russa's staff had remained intact for the past decade. No announcement was made about Mason's successor but minor-league pitching coordinator Dyar Miller and Jupiter complex pitching coordinator Derek Lilliquist are considered leading internal candidates.

(Derrick Goold contributed information to this report.)

 

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Baseball writers Derrick Goold and Rick Hummel cover the Cardinals for the Post-Dispatch and STLtoday.com. They'll provide daily Cardinals updates here, from the start of spring training through the end of the season and beyond.

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