After reading the tea leaves, we predicted yesterday that Tony LaRussa would return to the St. Louis Cardinals on a one-year deal, and despite rumors swirling at the time that he was set to sign a multi-year extension, LaRussa instead re-upped for just one year, according to ESPN. We’ll have to see what happens after 2010.

But the FAR more interesting news coming out of Cardinal land: the new hitting coach is none other than former Cardinals superstar Mark McGwire.

Now, McGwire was many things during his playing career, but a guy who clearly understood the mechanics of hitting and developing an effective approach that doesn’t rely on outlier events like 500 foot home runs? Um. Nah. And that’s, of course, not to mention the 5,000 pound – and unnaturally muscular – elephant in the room. Can you possibly fathom Sammy Sosa coming back to the Cubs as a coach? Sure, I guess Big Mac was loved in St. Louis for all of his playing days, but still, he brings a certain dark cloud with him.

One can only conclude that he must be damn good at what he does, otherwise this move seems destined for distraction and failure.

  • Cardfan


    My money is on “distraction and failure” – the ink isn’t dry on the contract and it already meets both descriptions…

    What team wouldn’t salivate over a .263 PED-enhanced career batting average? Maybe he could point to the success he had coaching Chris Duncan in the offseason (oops, Chris isn’t playing baseball anymore), OR that he coached Matt Holliday last year (oh yeah, Holliday started the year incorporating McGwire’s advice and then admittedly abandoned it in time to go on a tear with the Cardinals in the second half). Maybe he taught Skip Shumaker that annoying wrist-band re-wrap thingy before every pitch (nothing against Skip – love the guy).

    McGwire should stay in his self-described “past” and rerun the embarassment of his congressional testimony and false promises to a mother-who’s-son-killed-himself-trying-to-bulk-up-like-his-hero-McGwire everytime LaRussa tries to coerce him back into the limelight.

    Should give you some excellent material for next season, though…