La Russa excited, but team waiting on McGwire

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Tony La Russa is so excited about returning for a 16th season as St. Louis Cardinals manager that he's ready for spring training now.

But he's not sure yet whether hitting coach Mark McGwire, a father of 5 torn by love of baseball and family responsibility, will also be back. The Cardinals hope to get an answer from Big Mac in the next few days or so.

The 66-year-old La Russa wore both of his World Series championship rings - the 2006 Cardinals on his right hand and the 1989 Athletics on his left hand - during a round-table discussion Tuesday with reporters in an otherwise empty clubhouse.

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