Mark McGwire has come out of hiding to take over as hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Manager Tony LaRussa made that announcement recently during a press conference in St. Louis. McGwire, who hit a major league single-season record 70 home runs in 1998, has been out of the public spotlight for several years.
McGwire was not present at the press conference, but he presumably will have to one day address the allegations of steroid use that he so artfully dodged during the 2005 congressional hearings on the topic.
During McGwire's prodigious 1998 season, a reporter detected a jar of androstenedione in his locker. At that time, the steroids precursor was not banned in Major League Baseball and McGwire admitted to its use. But LaRussa is merely concerned with the here and now.
"I don't know how many years I have left to manage and I wanted to take this opportunity to invite a guy who I think has a very special talent," La Russa said at the news conference at Busch Stadium.
"Many others have watched Mark and know that he is indeed a talent. No one will work harder to help our players get the most out of their abilities."
McGwire played 16 seasons with the Oakland Athletics and Cardinals from 1986 to 2001 before retiring with 583 home runs.