Tony La Russa expected back with Cardinals in 2012

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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.

Dodgers announce World Series rotation order

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We know Clayton Kershaw will oppose Dallas Keuchel in Game 1 of the World Series. We now know the rest of the Dodgers’ rotation order, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. After Kershaw, it’ll be Rich Hill, then Yu Darvish, followed by Alex Wood.

No surprise, that’s the same order the Dodgers used in the NLCS against the Cubs. Dodger starters combined to post a 2.67 ERA with 31 strikeouts and four walks across 27 innings in the NLCS.

The Astros haven’t yet announced their rotation order, but we can safely assume Justin Verlander will follow Keuchel in Game 2.