Tony La Russa expected back with Cardinals in 2012


Regardless of what happens in Game 7 tonight Tony La Russa is expected to return as Cardinals manager next season, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Officially both La Russa and the Cardinals must decide on their respective half of his mutual option within two weeks after the World Series ends, but Strauss expects the 67-year-old manager to announce his return within days.

Next season would be his 17th as Cardinals manager and La Russa is just 35 wins from passing John McGraw for second place on the all-time list behind Connie Mack. He’s the highest-paid manager in baseball at around $5 million and has had a winning record in 11 of the past 12 seasons.

And if the Cardinals win tonight it’ll be La Russa’s third championship.

Jeff Samardzija to undergo MRI on right shoulder

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Update (12:58 AM ET): Per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Samardzija has been diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle. He’ll be shut down for a week. That’s good news for the Giants, considering the alternatives.


Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.

This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.

Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.