Magnante will be back with Oakland

Jeff Tully

BURBANK -- Despite having a successful 2001 major league baseball

season, Mike Magnante is happy to be back at his home in Burbank.

And the Oakland Athletics' left-handed pitcher can enjoy his offseason

already knowing where he will be going once spring rolls around.

Earlier this week, the A's exercised contract options on Magnante and

right-handed pitcher Jim Mecir through the 2002 season.

"The fact that the team worked out my situation so early in the

offseason is a positive sign," said Magnante, who graduated from

Burroughs High. "I am happy that I am coming back to a team with the

pitching staff almost entirelly intact."

Magnante, 36, is coming off arguably his finest season as a

professional. He appeared in a career-high 65 games, posted a 2.77

earned-run average and a 3-1 record over 55 1/3 innings.

"The last three years I have had three straight career seasons, so I'm

pleased about that," Magnante said.

Magnante has spent the last two seasons in Oakland, after coming to

the club from the Anaheim Angels.

Magnante, who played for UCLA and is in the Bruin BaseballHall of

Fame, said he would like to play at least two more seasons. After that,

he said he will assess if retirement is in his plans.

"I feel gerat," said Magnante, who still maintains close ties to the

Burroughs baseball program. "If I stay in shape and prove that I can

still pitch, than I think teams will stay interested in me."

Following the 2002 season, Magnante said he would like to return to

the Southland and maybe play for the Dodgers or Angels.

In the meantime, Magnante will return to an Oakland team that won 102

games last season and came within one game of playing in the American

League Championship Series.

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