Rumors have been swirling lately that Mark McGwire, one of the most prolific sluggers in baseball history, and one of the forefathers of the “Steroid
Era,” will join his old club, the St. Louis Cardinals, as the hitting coach in 2010.
While his numbers are staggering and his legendary 1998 home run war with Sammy Sosa was huge for the sport, Hall of Fame voters have shut him out from the pantheon of the greats of the game. Some may say that “he wasn’t good enough long enough,” but any knowledgeable observer knows thats code for “might have done steroids, don’t touch with a 10-foot pole!”
So, why then, would the Cardinals be interested in hiring a pariah as a hitting coach? Someone who will be in front of fans, players, media and management/ownership on a daily basis. Someone who is in charge of teaching players how to hit better?
Is it possible that someone virtually banished from the game could be the best person for the job? Aren’t there hundreds of retired players with glistening hitting resumes that could work with players? Is the stink of performance enhancing drugs something you want surrounding active players?
If a mediocre hitter somehow becomes better under McGwire’s tutelage, will they be linked to PEDs?
From a PR sense, how do you defend the Cardinals here?
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