Cardinals Bring Back Tony LaRussa And Mark McGwire

I wrote a couple of weeks ago that the St. Louis Cardinals are facing a franchise defining offseason. Well, their offseason got off to a great start today.

According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the Cardinals and manager Tony LaRussa have agreed to a one-year deal with a mutual option for 2011. The Cardinals also got good news when pitching coach Dave Duncan agreed to return to the team as well.

LaRussa will be back with the Cards in 2010

LaRussa will be back with the Cards in 2010

But the big shock of the day was the announcement of Mark McGwire as hitting coach. McGwire will replace Hal McRae as the Cardinals’ hitting coach.

LaRussa has approached McGwire in the past about being a hitting coach, but McGwire always declined LaRussa’s invitations. This is a real interesting hire by the Cardinals.

Since McGwire made his famous “I am not here to talk about the past” speech during the 2005 congressional hearings, he has disappeared from the public eye.

It will be interesting to see if McGwire becomes a distraction with all the possible questions about steriods he might asked.”We are going to make Mark available,” general manager John Mozeliak said. “How he is going to answer questions is up to him.”

If I was McGwire, I would have one day where I would give the media a chance to ask me anything possible. After that–no more questions about steriods.

That strategy worked well for Andy Pettitte and Alex Rodriguez.

The Cardinals can act like hiring McGwire is no big deal, but it is. This is a man who held the most sacred record not only in baseball, but in sports and then embarrassed himself on a national stage in front of Congress.

As far as what type of hitting coach McGwire will be? I have no idea. That is a wait and see.

McGwire has worked with major league hitters in the past, most notably Matt Holliday. That could help in re-signing the free agent leftfielder.

The Cardinals solved a big piece of their offseason puzzle today by bringing back LaRussa and Duncan. Now, if they can just re-sign Holliday and extend Albert Pujols’ contract, their offseason puzzle will be complete.

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One Response to “Cardinals Bring Back Tony LaRussa And Mark McGwire”

  1. Tom Spirakis Says:

    As the resident Cardinals fan here at The Ghost of Moonlight Graham, I’m thrilled to have TLR back and think McGwire is an awesome addition to the coaching staff.

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