The St. Louis Cardinals' manager Tony LaRussa will return for his 16th season with the team. LaRussa's one-year contract came to an end at the conclusion of the Cardinals' 2010 season, giving him the option of retirement, or the option of pursuing another job. LaRussa chose neither of those options, and will return to St. Louis.
The 2010 season was a huge disappointment for Cardinal Nation. The team was expected to easily run away with the N.L. Central Division, but instead they finished with an 86-76 record, and ended the season in second place, five games behind the Cincinnati Reds.
The return of LaRussa will likely get mixed reactions by the fans, as most either love him, or they hate him. Either way, the fans will have to settle for another season of LaRussa. Hopefully we will get the Hall-of-Fame LaRussa in 2011, and not the LaRussa that plays "lawyer ball" and over-analyzes every single situation.
Also, as a result of LaRussa's return, the Cardinals are now comfortable making personnel decisions; bull-pen coach Marty Mason was fired by General Manager John Mozeliak. The departure of Mason has been getting unfavorable feeling by members of the bull-pen (particularly Mitchell Boggs and Kyle McClellan).
The firing of Mason may be confusing for some, as the bull-pen was not a clear weakness that kept the team out of the playoffs. Maybe trading one of the best RBI hitters of the last three years (Ludwick) for a below average pitcher (Westbrook) had something to do with the downfall. Last I checked, that move wasn't on Mason.