Ever since Mark McGwire‘s rookie season in 1989 when he bashed a Major League Baseball record of 49 home runs as a first year player and even more so when he hit 70 long balls in 1998 and then was surrounded in a swirl of performance enhancement drugs speculations it is a known fact that any news involving McGwire is indeed that, news.
On Wednesday the Los Angeles Dodgers announced that they have hired the 12-time All-Star as their hitting coach for the 2013 season and beyond.
Big Mac first received his start in coaching as the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2010 under his former big league skipper Tony LaRussa and worked with the Cardinals hitters until last season when he rejected a contract extension from the club in anticipation of receiving the Dodgers position. The Dodgers fired their hitting coach from the 2012 season, Dave Hansen just days after the season ended and had McGwire on their radar all along.
The Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti released the following statement on Wednesday, “Mark has been able to translate his success as a big league hitter into his work as hitting coach with the Cardinals. “He earned the respect of both veterans and young players while in St. Louis and the offensive numbers the Cardinals produced under his tutelage speak for themselves. We’re excited to have him join our coaching staff and anticipate great things from his work with our hitters in 2013 and beyond.”
Last season the Dodgers finished 13th in the National League in both runs scored and OPS while in comparison the Cardinals ranked first in batting average (.269), second in runs scored (2,263) and had an OPS of .735 during McGwire’s three year tenure as their hitting coach.Following the Dodgers spending spree last season there are huge expectations in L.A. and their hopes are that McGwire can help them obtain some of them.