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TonyWatch 2010 Ends

Joe Strauss reports that it's official: Tony LaRussa wil be back for his 16th season as manager of the Cardinals. The entire coaching staff, save one, will be tendered contracts as well.

That 'save one' is long time bullpen coach Marty Mason. Mason is being "fired" and it's being framed in terms of the ongoing dispute over the player development system. I've always had a positive opinion of Mason (though if you asked me why, I'd likely sputter a non-sensical "Just 'Cause."

If the change to Jeff Luhnow's office door plaque was deemed a demotion or step backwards of some sort for his clout within the organization, this firing has to be a strong repudiation that the analytical/scouting department is losing sway.

Best of luck to Marty Mason in his future travels. Welcome back your 2011 coaching staff, which looks conspiciously like the 2010 version.