La Russa On Duncan, McGwire, His Future

In the wake of his newly-signed contract to return as the Cardinals' manager, Tony La Russa met with the media to discuss his new contract and a few other outstanding coaching issues facing the Redbirds.  Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has some of the pertinent info…

  • La Russa said that pitching coach Dave Duncan wants a multi-year contract from the club.  A Cardinals official tells Goold that "the organization is not closed off to the possibility," which is an understatement given Duncan's wizardry at rebuilding pitchers.  Duncan leaving would be a big blow to St. Louis and would hurt their efforts to sign free agent starters, such as Jake Westbrook.
  • Mark McGwire will "definitely be offered a chance to come back" as the team's batting coach, La Russa said.  McGwire's hesitation over returning stems from not wanting to spend so much time away from his family.
  • Since La Russa's contract was a one-year deal with a mutual option for 2012, the manager was asked if there could be another "Tony Watch" next season.  La Russa sounded as if he's taking his baseball future on an annual basis and wouldn't be comfortable in agreeing to a long-term contract in case his desire wanes.  "You take every year like it's last year. That how you should manage," La Russa said.  "Day in, day out, working with the players, they either believe you or they don't. … If you give a manager a multi-year all you're doing is guaranteeing him some money. It doesn't have anything to do with how effective you are at doing your job."

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