Mark McGwire: Timing Is Everything

Paul McGuillicuddyAnalyst IFebruary 21, 2010

JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 17:  Hitting coach Mark McGwire works with players in the batting cages on his first day in uniform during Spring Training on February 17, 2010 in Jupiter, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images

The first signs of Spring Training arrived last week when pitchers and catchers took to the fields. It is that time of year when ‘hope springs eternal.’

Play will begin in the Grapefruit and Cactus leagues, and soon enough we will all be outside enjoying peanuts, cracker jacks, and baseball.

The onset of Spring Training in the same week as the Tiger Woods ‘dog and pony show’ proved convenient for one former major leaguer.

Before work began, the St. Louis Cardinals’ new hitting coach, Mark McGwire, found himself trapped by a crew of news reporters. They hounded the former slugger with questions about his past. McGwire smoothly redirected the discussion, referring to how he has ‘moved on’  and that the ‘evolution of his swing’ was the reason for the success he experienced late in his career.

The reporters’ questions eventually shifted to McGwire’s current job, and how the batting instructor plans to help young hitters.

McGwire responded to the inquiries by noting his past and how he “understands all the pressures of the game,” and “how to play through injuries and how to get out of an 0-20.” McGwire put an exclamation point to the response by talking of his own work ethic.

…  . The extra period is not a typo. I was trying to come up with something to represent the amount of time I spent considering McGwire’s words.

Playing through injuries?

How to get out of an 0-20?

Work ethic?

You will have to forgive me as I try to get rid of any bathroom stall images.

Mark, aren’t you forgetting something. Current players cannot use the same rehabilitation methods you used.

McGwire should send Tiger Woods a note, thanking the golfer for taking away the attention of the media. Reporters put their energies into dissecting the golfer’s half-hearted apology rather than picking apart Big Mac’s words.

Give McGwire credit. He did not try to orchestrate his press conference, but he did get lucky.  The media’s attention was focused elsewhere.

His timing could not have been any better. Unless, of course, Brett Favre called a press conference this week to announce his retirement…or is he already retired?

Yeah, timing is everything.

Pickin' Splinters