LOS ANGELES (AP) – 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 Monday that Tracy and the team “mutually agreed to part ways.” Last year, Tracy guided the team to its first division championship since 1995, but the Dodgers finished 71-91 this season. It was the franchise’s second-worst season since moving from Brooklyn in 1958.

The 49-year-old Tracy 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 Monday.

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. Owner Frank McCourt said any decision on Tracy’s future would be left to DePodesta.

Tracy had a 427-383 record in five seasons. The Dodgers began this season 12-2, but then losses and injuries started to add up.

Last year’s NL West championship was the Dodgers’ first in nine years, and they earned their first postseason victory since winning the 1988 World Series. Los Angeles was eliminated by NL champion St. Louis 3-1 in the first round of the playoffs.

Tracy’s tenure tied him for the fourth-longest among current NL managers, behind Atlanta’s Bobby Cox, St. Louis’ Tony La Russa, and San Diego’s Bruce Bochy – whose teams all made this season’s playoffs.

The Dodgers were Tracy’s first big league managing job. Before being hired in 2000, he spent seven years managing in the minors for the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati and Montreal. He also played two seasons in the majors with the Cubs.

AP-ES-10-03-05 2207EDT

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