Mark McGwire has been a distraction for the St. Louis Cardinals during the off-season.
Whether he will be able to fold into the woodwork during spring training and the regular season remains to be seen.
As the new hitting coach for the Cardinals, McGwire triggered national headlines when he finally confessed that he took steroids during the period when he blasted a then-record 70 home runs in 1998.
Former players such as Carlton Fisk blasted McGwire for insisting that his steroid use had nothing to do with him hitting 70 homers that year.
“By their size and their numbers, you can figure out for yourself who those (steroid) guys are,” said Fisk. “It’s odd. Obviously there are certain reasons why some guys come out. Some of the reasons are pretty obvious, and one is that they know they have done something wrong and they want some sort of forgiveness. With all of their records and all of their huge money, now it is time to reconcile. They probably are only sorry because they got caught. It’s just odd.”
Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa has been supportive of McGwire, whom he managed in Oakland and St. Louis, calling him “a great teammate.” LaRussa hopes the media and fan distraction of having McGwire on his coaching staff will subside. But chances are, McGwire will have to answer many more questions along the way.