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Tuesday, November 24, 2009
No timetable for McGwire intro

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS -- Mark McGwire was hired to be the St. Louis Cardinals' hitting coach a month ago, and the former home run king's initial media session has yet to be scheduled.

General manager John Mozeliak, who said on the day McGwire was hired that a news conference would be held "sooner rather than later," was tightlipped Tuesday about the team's plans.

"I'm not going to put a timetable on it because I don't know," Mozeliak said in an interview with The Associated Press. "It could be soon, it could be in a couple of weeks, it could be the first of the year. I don't know."

McGwire's news conference has been highly anticipated. He has failed to gain election to the Hall of Fame in his first three chances despite hitting a then-record 70 home runs in 1998 and retiring with 583 homers in 2001. He famously refused to answer questions about steroids use during a March 2005 congressional hearing, saying he wasn't there to talk about the past.

Before the recent era tainted by performance-enhancing drugs, 500 homers was considered an automatic ticket to the Hall of Fame. But the 46-year-old McGwire has received just under 25 percent support from Baseball Writers' Association of America voters in his three appearances on the Hall of Fame ballot. That's well under the 75 percent needed.

Mozeliak said at the time of McGwire's hiring that there will be no effort to shield the slugger from questions about steroids.

Mozeliak said McGwire wasn't resisting meeting with media, but rather that the Cardinals and McGwire were simply "taking our time." He said it hadn't been decided whether McGwire would appear in person or on a teleconference.

The GM was vague on what has delayed a news conference.

"There's a lot going into it," Mozeliak said. "It's complicated, and once we work through everything we'll be ready to go."