ST. LOUIS (AP) - Tony La Russa had little to say Wednesday about speculation he will leave the St. Louis Cardinals after a dozen seasons to manage the Seattle Mariners next season.
``No reaction,'' La Russa said.
``Nothing to it?'' La Russa was asked.
``I don't think so,'' he responded.
Last year's World Series champions faded in September and have little hope of making the postseason.
``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.''
There has been speculation that La Russa and general manager Walt Jocketty might leave after the season for the Cincinnati Reds or the Mariners.
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. It's standard practice for La Russa to finish a contract before signing a new one in St. Louis.
La Russa wasn't interested in talking about his future on Wednesday, saying ``It's end of the season stuff.''
More than most seasons, La Russa appears ready for this troubling one to end. The Cardinals lost ace pitcher Chris Carpenter to an elbow injury after opening day, and the season has also been marred by La Russa's spring training DUI, the drunk driving death of reliever Josh Hancock; Scott Spiezio's monthlong absence to be treated for substance abuse and a report Rick Ankiel received a year's supply of human growth hormone in 2004.
During a September slump that dropped them far behind the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers, the Cardinals lost nine a row - the franchise's longest losing streak since 1980. They've played most of the final month without Scott Rolen (shoulder), Chris Duncan (sports hernia) and Juan Encarnacion (eye injury).
``I've had enough,'' La Russa said. ``It's just not a question of wanting it to end. It's just that you're not in contention, that's the thing that sticks in your gut.''
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