La Russa says “it's going to work” with Big Mac

Tony La Russa is confident Mark McGwire will do fine as the Cardinals' hitting coach. Among the reasons the St. Louis manager is certain: Big Mac has already started his new job.

“I think it's going to work,” La Russa asserted Tuesday at the baseball winter meetings.

A day earlier, former Cardinals manager and newly elected Hall of Famer Whitey Herzog said he thought McGwire might change his mind and back out. Herzog wondered whether McGwire would want to deal with questions about steroids.

“I know how seriously he considered it,” La Russa said. “I think he has demonstrated to some of us that he has a lot to offer as a hitting coach.”

La Russa said he's spoken regularly to McGwire and gets no sense the former slugger is having second thoughts. McGwire has been talking to St. Louis hitters and watching tape, La Russa said.

“I know the conversations I've had with him,” La Russa said. “We'll be lucky to have him.”

Shortly before the World Series started, La Russa announced he would return to the Cardinals' dugout for a 15th season. His announcement came with a surprise: He was reuniting with McGwire.

McGwire set a record by hitting 70 home runs for St. Louis in 1998. He retired after the 2001 season with 583 career homers and a .263 batting average.

McGwire refused to answer questions about steroid use during a Congressional hearing in 2005, insisting he wasn't going to talk about the past. His stance certainly hurt his chances for election to the Hall of Fame — he's drawn about 25 percent of the vote in three elections, far short of the 75 percent required.

La Russa said he expected McGwire to hold an introductory news conference in the next couple of weeks. McGwire hasn't done that yet, the manager said, because he didn't want to cause any distractions during the World Series or parade of postseason awards.

“He'll say whatever he has to say,” La Russa said. “Once we get to camp, it'll be about coaching.”

Other Sportssports

Just Posted

Dominion Voting Systems, a Denver-based vendor, is under contract to supply voting machines for elections in San Francisco. (Kevin N. Hume/Examiner file)
Is San Francisco’s elections director impeding voting machine progress?

Open source technology could break up existing monopoly

The 49ers take on the Packers in Week 3 of the NFL season, before heading into a tough stretch of divisional opponents. (Courtesy San Francisco 49ers)
‘Good for Ball’ or ‘Bad for Ball’ — A Niners analysis

By Mychael Urban Special to The Examiner What’s the first thing that… Continue reading

Health experts praised Salesforce for keeping its Dreamforce conference at Moscone Center outdoors and on a small scale. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Happy birthday, Marc Benioff. Your company did the right thing

Salesforce kept Dreamforce small, which made all kinds of sense

Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, pictured with Rose Pak in 2014, says the late Chinatown activist was “helping to guide the community away from the divisions, politically.”
Willie and Rose: How an alliance for the ages shaped SF

How the Mayor and Chinatown activist shaped San Francisco, then and now

The Grove in Golden Gate Park is maintained largely by those who remember San Francisco’s 20,000 AIDS victims.<ins> (Open Eye Pictures/New York Times)</ins>
Looking at COVID through the SF prism of AIDS

AIDS took 40 years to claim 700,000 lives. COVID surpassed that number in 21 months

Most Read