Here’s one you probably didn’t see coming: The Dodgers are close to hiring Mark McGwire as their new hitting coach.
McGwire has served as the Cardinals’ hitting coach for the last three seasons, but the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has reported that he has told the club he intends to accept the same position with the Dodgers.
The deal with the Dodgers has yet to be finalized, but the Post-Dispatch said he has told the Cardinals he will not accept their offer of a contract extension.
The Cardinals enabled McGwire to attempt to rebuild his image after he admitted in January 2010 to having used steroids when he broke baseball’s all-time single-season home run record in 1998 and had used them for about a decade.
To his credit, belatedly or not, he is one of the few to flatly admit to steroid use.
The controversial slugger went to Damien High School in La Verne, played at USC and still lives in Irvine. Geography is believed to be a key to his wanting to make the move.
The Dodgers’ recent hitting coach Dave Hansen was the only coach not invited to return in 2013. He has since signed up as the Mariners’ new hitting coach.
McGwire is credited with helping the Cardinals shape one of baseball’s most prolific offenses, helping to develop young hitters Allen Craig, David Freese, Matt Carpenter and others.
Neither the Dodgers nor Cardinals have yet to release an official statement.