Cardinals Hire La Russa To Rebuild Storied Franchise
Tony La Russa, who led the Oakland Athletics to a championship and three American League pennants in 10 years, on Monday signed a five-year, $7 million contract to manage the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cardinals finished fourth in the National League Central at 62-81 under Joe Torre and Mike Jorgensen. La Russa didn’t fare much better as the Athletics finished last in the A.L. West at 67-77.
“The hiring of Tony La Russa to manage the Cardinals is a huge step in the rebuilding process of this organization,” St. Louis general manager Walt Jocketty said. “He’s one of the best managers of this era.”
La Russa, 51, brings his longtime pitching coach, Dave Duncan, with him.
Houston general manager Bob Watson abruptly quit his job with the Astros and accepted the same position with the New York Yankees in an unusually rapid courtship.
“The key issue was the uncertainty of the sale and possible move of the Houston club,” Watson said when reached at his home in Texas.
Houston owner Drayton McLane said last week he was discussing the possible sale of the team to a Northern Virginia group headed by William Collins, who last March failed in his bid to obtain an expansion franchise.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, determined to overhaul their infield, have decided not to bring back shortstop Jose Offerman or third baseman Tim Wallach next season.