La Russa: No reaction to Mariners rumor

Thursday, September 20, 2007
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa took a break between innings during Wednesday's game in St. Louis. (Tom Gannam ~ Associated Press)

Reports say the Cards manager and GM could be headed to Seattle.

ST. LOUIS -- Tony La Russa had little to say Wednesday about reports speculating he would leave the St. Louis Cardinals after a dozen seasons to manage the Seattle Mariners next season.

"No reaction," La Russa said. Nothing to it? "I don't think so."

Last year's World Series champions had lost 12 of 13 in a September swoon brought on by multiple injuries, and La Russa said he was focused on ending the season on a good note.

The Cardinals play their home finale Sunday before finishing with seven games on the road, and La Russa said he won't be pondering whether that game is his last in St. Louis.

"Come Sunday, I'm going to think about seven days left on the road and I just want us to finish strong, that's the No. 1 thing," La Russa said. "We've been finishing strong in effort, I just want us to finish strong and get enough wins to where we have a good taste."

The Mariners have not revealed the status of manager John McLaren, who replaced Mike Hargrove on July 1, or general manager Bill Bavasi, completing his fourth season. Yet reports have surfaced on ESPN, the Seattle Times and other outlets about the possibility of La Russa and general manager Walt Jocketty coming as a package deal.

La Russa, the third-winningest manager in major league history, led the Cardinals to the postseason seven times in his first 11 seasons, also making it to the World Series in 2004. His three-year contract, worth $2.8 million per season, expires after the season.

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