ST. LOUIS (AP) -Tony La Russa will return for his 13th season as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals after a difficult year in which his team failed to play .500 ball, a team official told The Associated Press on Monday.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because an announcement had not been made, did not know details of the contract. An afternoon news conference was scheduled at Busch Stadium.
The 63-year-old La Russa had weighed leaving after a trying season in which the defending World Series champions finished 78-84.
The season got off to a rocky start even before it began when La Russa was arrested for drunken driving in March near the team's spring training complex in Jupiter, Fla. Cardinals reliever Josh Hancock died in May after a drunken-driving accident, and several players were lost for long stretches of the season because injuries, including Chris Carpenter, the staff ace who pitched only in the season-opener.
Speculation that La Russa would leave was fueled further when the Cardinals fired general manager Walt Jocketty this month. Jocketty and La Russa have been close since the days when both were with Oakland. The Cardinals still have not hired Jocketty's replacement.
La Russa has led St. Louis to seven playoff appearances, six NL Central championships, two pennants and the 2006 World Series win over Detroit. His A's team won the 1989 World Series.
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