LaRussa returns to the Cardinals. Okay, that makes sense. Mark McGwire is becoming their hitting coach? http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4593412 Forget the steroid taint, as that really is just him finally holding a press conference, take a beating, and then move on. It is more that Mark McGwire was not a good hitter. Great slugger yes, but he had some horrendous years average wise, prior to '95. Seems like a very unusual hire.
There are scores of batting coaches in MLB who never even played in the majors, let alone were stars. To claim that Big Mac "wasn't a good hitter" is pretty absurd, steroids or no steroids.
It's an odd move regardless, if anything because McGwire seemed content to stay away from the spotlight after his retirement and the fiasco with Congress. Maybe he thinks that being a public figure again will help boost his HOF voting totals.
Kirk, crackers are a family food. Happy families. Maybe single people eat crackers, we don't know. Frankly, we don't want to know. It's a market we can do without.
McGwire has privately been working with players, including Cardinals, in recent off seasons. This isn't as big a leap as it may seem.
However...one of the players he worked with last off season was Matt Holliday, and Holliday has said his late season success was based on ignoring all that McGwire had him doing and going back to what he was doing prior. It's just one player, and he may do better with others, but I wonder if it's a sign to Holliday's chances of returning here.
Obviously, McGwire is going to have to Talk About The Past, or realize he and all the players will be asked about the past the first time they visit every town all year, to an annoying degree. Given LaRussa's stubborness/arrogance, I suspect they're going to refuse to address the obvious and it's going to lead to a few blow ups this year.
As a fan of another team in the division, I appreciate the Cardianls creating distractions for themselves. I can sort of see it from LaRussa's standpoint - Tony surely thinks one of his most favorite players of all times was unfairly excommunicated from baseball without tangible proof (and people the context), and this is a way to safely bring him back into baseball world. If Tony was more aware of the rest of the world, I think he'd realize only instead seems to make certain people on that team look more guilty by association.
The Cards are a scary team. No weak spots in that lineup, and a ridiculous number of gold gloves on the field at any time. The Astros are at a disadvantage, but they've got the starting pitching and the killer B's.