Wednesday, November 07, 2012

It's Official- McGwire Joins the Dodgers as their Hitting Coach

I am still on the fence with regards to this.  I just hate the steroid label his signing puts on us.  On the other hand, Mark McGwire will now be wearing Blue, so I am going to have to root for him anyway.

It is now official.  McGwire joins the ranks as our new hitting coach.  Per a Dodger press release:
“Mark has been able to translate his success as a big league hitter into his work as hitting coach with the Cardinals,” Colletti said. “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.”

McGwire served as the St. Louis hitting coach for the past three seasons from 2010-12, when the Cardinals led the NL in batting average (.269) and on-base percentage (.337), ranked second in runs (2,263), fourth in slugging percentage (.416) and third in OPS (.753). During his time as hitting coach, the Cardinals batted a National League-best .274 with runners in scoring position.  McGwire’s tenure in St. Louis was highlighted by the Cardinals’ 2011 season, when St. Louis led the NL in batting average (.273), on-base percentage (.341), slugging percentage (.425, T-1st), OPS (.766) and runs scored (762), while striking out a National League-low 978 times en route to a World Series title.

This past season, the Cardinals, who advanced to the National League Championship Series, led the league with a .338 on-base percentage and ranked among the Senior Circuit leaders in runs (765, 2nd), hits (1526, T-1st), batting average (.271, 2nd), slugging percentage (.421, 4th) and OPS (.759, 3rd). St. Louis hitters tied for second in the NL with a .264 batting average with runners in scoring position. In the three seasons preceding McGwire’s hiring (2007-09), the Cardinals ranked eighth in the NL in runs scored.
I will remain cautiously optimistic that he can help the Dodgers batters, and will have to bite my tongue when opposing fans start screaming "'roiders!"

Pic above via twitter @Dodgers Jon SooHoo Dodgers 2012

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