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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Diamond Dirt: L.A. may be tough for McGwire

  • If things fall into place, Mark McGwire will be wearing his third big league uniform.
    The St. Louis Cardinals' hitting coach for the past three seasons informed the team he is joining the Los Angeles Dodgers.
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  • If things fall into place, Mark McGwire will be wearing his third big league uniform.
    The St. Louis Cardinals' hitting coach for the past three seasons informed the team he is joining the Los Angeles Dodgers.
    It's mainly for family reasons, and I support that 100 percent, but I wonder if the City of Angels would be angelic to the one-time home run king who came out and admitted to using steroids.
    From the moment McGwire retired to his return to baseball as a coach, he has only been centered around St. Louis. He got a standing ovation in 2005 when he took a countdown number off the wall of old Busch Stadium and has always been welcomed with open arms since his return to the Redbirds.
    But I think it's a giant leap to go from the organization which defines his career as a player — and coach thus far — to an organization in the limelight of new ownership and high expectations. One hitting slump, one streak of bad losses by the Dodgers due to offense is all going to lead to finger pointing at McGwire. The media out there in L.A. and Hollywood is going to be approaching him for a lot of questions. In St. Louis, and the culture of the Midwest in general, is laid back, easy going. These are the folks who covered Big Mac as a player and know what to and not to say or ask. Manager Don Mattingly is going to be bypassed and all the criticisms and blame will be put on McGwire.
    I don't think it'll be anything he can't handle, he dealt with a lot as a player, but does he really want to go through that again?
    And the only reason he's going to get this attention is because he's Mark McGwire.
    Some might say that McGwire changed his reputation being with the Cardinals the last three years, but in truth they had Tony La Russa and veteran presence. I've said it before and I'll say it again, McGwire can only assist certain players, not all.
    Players who swing direct, hit for average, those are NOT McGwire's type of students.
    Players who have some pop in their bat and can hit for power, those are the guys who'll benefit from him. He'll add a lift to their swing and more home runs and extra base hits will be collected — i.e. Jon Jay, Allen Craig.
    Big Mac has a challenge ahead of him for sure. I'll be watching with curiosity.
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