It's his third year as a coach. Few reporters seek him out for interviews. A groundskeeper occasionally will ask him to autograph a ball. But mostly Mark McGwire is left alone to do his job, in the batting cages, out of the spotlight. Just how he likes it.
Here at spring training, he is not Mark McGwire, former home run king, or Mark McGwire, admitted steroid user. He is Mark McGwire, hitting instructor for the St. Louis Cardinals, arriving each day at 5:30 a.m., quietly going about his business, relishing his second career.
Once, he cheated the game. Now, he honors it.
Honors it with the passion he brings to his work, the time he devotes to his hitters, young and old. Honors it by maintaining his dignity, even when talking about his low Hall of Fame vote totals. Honors it while other sluggers under the same cloud -- Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa -- remain largely in hiding.
McGwire, 48, won a World Series as a player with the 1989 Oakland Athletics. He won one as a c...