Jim Tracy's tenure as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers is over, one day after he finished his first losing season in five years with the team.
The Dodgers announced yesterday that Tracy and the team "mutually agreed to part ways." Last year, Tracy guided the team to its first division title since 1995, but the Dodgers finished 71-91 this season, the franchise's second-worst record since moving from Brooklyn in 1958.
Tracy, 49, signed a two-year contract in November that included a clause allowing him to opt out of the second year during a seven-day period that began yesterday. He made it clear to General Manager Paul DePodesta that he wanted to return, and asked for an extension last month. His current deal would have run through the 2006 season.
Tracy had a 427-383 record in five seasons. . . .
The Tigers fired Alan Trammell as their manager, and soon afterward Jim Leyland was en route to Detroit as the leading candidate to replace him. Tigers President and General Manager Dave Dombrowski discussed the opening with Leyland about 24 hours after the regular season ended.
"I am driven to move quickly because I think there could be a lot of interest in Jim Leyland," said Dombrowski, adding his search could end as soon as today.
Trammell, 47, was fired after three seasons in which he failed to turn around a franchise without a winning record since 1993. The Tigers sagged down the stretch, finishing 71-91.
Detroit was 186-300 in three seasons under Trammell, including losing an AL-record 119 games in his first season.
Leyland, 60, helped the Marlins win the 1997 World Series -- with Dombrowski as general manager -- and was a two-time NL Manager of the Year while leading the Pirates. He last managed with the Rockies in 1999.
* MACHA MAY STAY: The Athletics offered a new contract to Manager Ken Macha, though it's still unclear whether he will return for a fourth season in 2006.
Macha has said he is interested in returning to Oakland if the situation is right. Oakland also announced that Dave Hudgens would not return as hitting coach next season.
* BIGGIO TO RETURN: The Astros have given 2B Craig Biggio a one-year, $4 million contract extension through 2006, which will be his 19th season -- all in Houston. Biggio, who turns 40 next year, hit .264 with a career-high 26 home runs and 69 RBI this year.
* CARDS' REYES OUT: Cardinals RHP Al Reyes, 35, tore a ligament in his pitching elbow on Sunday and will need reconstructive surgery, forcing him to miss the playoffs and next season. Reyes was 4-2 with a 2.15 ERA and three saves in 65 games.
* RANGERS, ROGERS PART: Texas said in a statement that it will not offer a contract for 2006 to LHP Kenny Rogers, 40, who is best remembered this year for throwing a tantrum and shoving two television cameramen. Rogers, who went 14-8 with a 3.46 ERA, will become a free agent. He has a career record of 190-131 with a 4.21 ERA.
* SURGERY UPDATES: Mets RHP Braden Looper had successful arthroscopic surgery on his pitching shoulder and is expected to recover by spring training. . . . Twins RHP Juan Rincon had successful surgery to clean up a bone spur in his right elbow. He went 6-6 with a 2.45 ERA in 75 games this season.
* PAT KELLY DEAD: Former all-star OF Pat Kelly, who played for five teams during a 15-year major league career, has died. He was 61.
Kelly, who played with the Orioles in the 1979 World Series, died Sunday from a heart attack. He was a reverend for Lifeline Ministries in Maryland after his retirement.
Kelly played for the White Sox (1971-76), Orioles (1977-80) and Indians (1981). He hit .264 with 76 homers, 418 RBI and 250 steals in 1,385 games.