After taking sometime to think about his future, it seems that St. Louis Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa will return to the team in 2010 for his 15th year as Manager. Now ESPN’s Buster Olney is reporting that La Russa is close to hiring former star slugger Mark McQwire to be his hitting coach. We can go ahead and file this one under one of the worst ideas ever, as McQwire will forever be linked to the MLB “Steroids Era” and that many fans have yet to forgive McQwire’s shameful performance in front of Congress in 2005.
If Major League Baseball ever wants to get beyond the shame of the steroids scandal than they are going to have to ban a few of the players that so defined that period of Major League Baseball. So far the tem owners have managed to keep Barry Bonds out of the game, and many of the others involved in the steroids mess have been marginalized by recent events, but the Cardinals could be making a huge mistake here.
For the most part slugger Albert Pujols has been able to put up big numbers, while staying away from any claims of steroids use. Hiring McQwire to be his hitting coach could erode the public’s willingness to give Pujols the benefit of the doubt. While McQwire was once a fan favorite, and assured of selection into the baseball hall of fame, is refusal to answer questions about his own steroid use killed his shots at immortality in Cooperstown, New York.
Had he been honest about his steroids use, he may have been able to save his status with the fans of this sport, and been able to take a job like this. However, since he chose to be evasive and has never come clean about it, hiring this man is little more than insuring a new round of steroids questions each time the press gets a chance to.