McGwire Back in Baseball, as Cardinals Hitting Coach

La Russa brings former star aboard, says steroids questions fair game
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 26, 2009 6:42 PM CDT
Tony La Russa speaks during today's news conference in St. Louis.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Mark McGwire is back in baseball, hired by old pal Tony La Russa to be the St. Louis Cardinals' hitting coach. La Russa managed McGwire with the Oakland Athletics, then with St. Louis. McGwire was not at today's news conference, but La Russa and general manager John Mozeliak said there will be no effort to shield McGwire from questions about steroids—though McGwire, 46, notably refused to answer such questions before Congress in 2005.

"Mark is passionate about the game, passionate about the Cardinals," chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said. "Tony thinks he'll be a great coach, and I think he's got a lot to offer." Echoed La Russa: "I'm a big fan of his. He's back in uniform and, hopefully, people will see his greatness. But the No. 1 reason he's here is to coach our hitters."