The Dodgers are apparently swinging for the fences looking to fill the role of hitting coach. Mark McGwire, who has served as hitting coach for the Cardinals, is apparently in talks to take the same job with the Dodgers, as first reported by Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Both Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports and Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports have confirmed the report, with Rosenthal noting that McGwire wants to be closer to his wife and children, who live in Orange County. Strauss reported that McGwire's contract with the Cardinals expired on Oct. 31.
The Dodgers dismissed Dave Hansen as hitting coach on Oct. 12. General manager Ned Colletti said in October that he might consider hiring a pair of hitting instructors to fill the role, much in the same way that pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and bullpen coach Ken Howell team up to instruct the pitching staff.
McGwire as a player hit 583 home runs in a 16-year career, including a rookie record 49 home runs in 1987. In 1998, McGwire broke Roger Maris' 37-year old single-season home run mark, hitting 70 home runs, though his admission of using performance enhancing drugs has seemingly all but killed any chance of McGwire making the Hall of Fame.
He is one of just four players to hit a ball completely out of Dodger Stadium, as he hit a ball over the pavilion in left center field on May 22, 1999 against Jamie Arnold. McGwire also beat the Dodgers with a walk-off home run in Game 3 of the 1988 World Series, but that was his only hit of the series, won by the Dodgers in five games.
During McGwire's three seasons as hitting coach in St. Louis, the Cardinals ranked sixth, first, and second in the National League in runs scored, and never ranked lower than fifth in on-base percentage.
McGwire went to Damien High School in La Verne, and played his college baseball at USC.