Mark McGwire, who has largely been absent from MLB since his retirement following the 2001 season, has been hired as the St. Louis Cardinals hitting coach for the 2010 season. McGwire replaces Hal McRae who was dismissed following the NLDS in which the Cardinals were swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He joins his old manager Tony La Russa (in both Oakland & St. Louis) who returns to manage the Cards for a 15th season.
Already there are calls for McGwire to come clean about his alleged use of PEDs.
Of course, McGwire testified in front of Congress in March 2005 and declined to answer questions about PEDs. At the time he stated:
Asking me or any other player to answer questions about who took steroids in front of television cameras will not solve the problem. If a player answers 'No,' he simply will not be believed; if he answers 'Yes,' he risks public scorn and endless government investigations.... My lawyers have advised me that I cannot answer these questions without jeopardizing my friends, my family, and myself. I will say, however, that it remains a fact in this country that a man, any man, should be regarded as innocent unless proven guilty.
If McGwire has, in fact, not taken PEDs and protests his innocence he will not be believed.
On the other hand, if McGwire did take PEDs then he should come clean. Case in point: Andy Pettitte.
Last night, Pettitte was the winning pitcher in clinching a berth for the New York Yankees in the World Series. I doubt anyone remembers Pettitte's admission in February 2008 that he used HGH.
If McGwire does admit to wrongdoing he'll get some jazz for not being forthcoming but will ultimately be forgiven. He won't have lied like Pete Rose who denied betting on baseball for nearly 15 years before he said otherwise.
But McGwire is a reticient person by nature. I suspect that he is not likely to open up about this and will once again become the target of the sports media and will become a distraction for the Cardinals. If that is the case then I predict he will resign his post a few days into spring training. I hope it doesn't comes to that but it would not surprise me in the least if it did.