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Friday, November 28, 2014

So Mark McGwire’s Been Working as a Hitting Instructor Lately

As much as Mark McGwire tries to stay out of the spotlight — for which he’s done a damn good job — he’s been in the news quite a bit lately. First Deadspin caught some sections of the book Jay McGwire has written that details Mark’s use of steroids while playing baseball. Now Matt Holliday says he and Bobby Crosby have been working on hitting with McGwire over the offseason. I knew that McGwire’s worked with both Chris and Shelley Duncan, likely because their father is the Cardinals pitching coach — Dave Duncan. I didn’t know that McGwire’s become a full-fledged hitting instructor, which is how it’s coming across. I’ll let you draw the obvious connections between McGwire/Holliday/Crosby and steroids while I talk about how the whole thing started.

When the Rockies were in Southern California for an interleague series against the Angels in 2006, introductions were arranged through Rockies assistant coach Mike Gallego, a former teammate of McGwire’s with the A’s.

“They took a liking to each other,” Gallego said of McGwire and Holliday. “They have a lot of the same qualities, as far as their size and the expectations of when they walk up to the plate. Him and Mac clicked well. Both are guys that are not afraid to work. He’s been good to him.”

Holliday, whose biceps and power has really increased the past few seasons, is very much like McGwire in that they were both massive individuals since the day they entered the league. Holliday’s power really has increased beginning in 2006, when he had his first of back-to-back 30 home run seasons. While McGwire’s reputation is being increasingly sullied by his brother Jay (that appearance on Capitol Hill sure didn’t help), at least it appears as if he’s still trying to make a positive impact on the game by working with hitters. It’s reasons like this that Big Mac gets more of a benefit of the doubt than say a Barry Bonds when it comes to discussions of character.



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