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La Russa expects he'll return for 13th season with Cardinals

10/20/2007

ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals manager Tony La Russa expects to
return for a 13th season with St. Louis, and may commit to the team
before it selects a new general manager.

La Russa told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he'd be back
barring complications in discussions with team chairman Bill DeWitt
Jr. His three-year deal expired at the end of the season.

"The fact that we're talking pretty much daily and everything
is progressing tells you where it's heading and where we'd like it
to end up," La Russa said in a story that appeared in Saturday's
editions. "Obviously, that's assuming nothing falls through the
cracks."

La Russa left a message for The Associated Press on Saturday
saying he was only talking to the Post-Dispatch about his
situation.

La Russa told the newspaper he has not delayed his decision to
gauge possible interest from the New York Yankees, who parted ways
with manager Joe Torre on Thursday.

"I'm talking to Bill because that's where I want to be," the
63-year-old La Russa said. "Frankly, I'm offended the question is
even being asked."

La Russa said he may sign before a replacement is found for
former GM Walt Jocketty because of concerns entering free agency.

"If you wait until someone is hired, a player or two we have
interest in could have headed down another road," La Russa said.
"You take some of this on faith. But I'm glad Bill has confided in
me."

La Russa last year became the franchise's winningest manager,
and in 2006 led the Cardinals to their first World Series title
since 1982.

DeWitt said earlier in the week that the Cardinals might wait
until after the World Series to name a new GM. The Post-Dispatch
said Cleveland Indians assistant GM Chris Antonetti is among the
team's candidates.

John Mozeliak, interim GM under Jocketty the last five seasons,
is the lone in-house candidate. Mozeliak previously interviewed for
GM openings with the Reds and Astros.