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McGwire Ready to Be a DH if the Cardinals Advance

October 10, 2000|Associated Press

If the Cardinals make it to the World Series, Mark McGwire believes he'll be ready for designated hitter duty.

"I'd love to get four or five at-bats," McGwire said Monday. "It would be great."

McGwire hasn't gotten that type of action since early July, when he went on the disabled list because of severe knee tendinitis. Since he returned Sept. 8, he has been limited to one at-bat per game.

McGwire said running out a grounder as a pinch-hitter in Atlanta at pretty much full speed was a huge step in the right direction.

"It's going away," he said of the pain. "I got out of the box and I started running and said, 'Hey, this isn't feeling too bad.' I was pretty encouraged."

He also felt that it was about time, considering all the rehab he has put the knee through.

"We haven't stopped doing anything," he said. "You think over a course of time, it's going to heal some day."

Manager Tony La Russa was pleased that McGwire, limited to 32 homers this year after hitting a record 70 in 1998 and 65 in 1999, was feeling better.

"Potentially, it's real exciting," La Russa said.

La Russa wasn't getting too excited, because the Cardinals first have to get past the New York Mets. Their best-of-seven NLCS begins Wednesday night in St. Louis.

"The worst thing you can do is make plans for the next [series]," La Russa said.

More at-bats during the potential four games at the American League ballpark in the World Series would be more than enough for McGwire. He doesn't think trying to play first base would be wise because he'd be so rusty, and because Will Clark has played so well.

"There's no way," McGwire said. "Why put a wrench into what's going on right now? Will's a Gold Glover, so there's no reason to even think about it."


Wednesday: New York (Hampton 15-11) at St. Louis (Kile 21-9), 5:15 p.m.

Thursday: New York at St. Louis, 5:15 p.m.

Saturday: St. Louis at New York, 1:15 p.m.

Sunday: St. Louis at New York, 5 p.m.

Monday: St. Louis at New York, 5:15 p.m.*

Wed., Oct. 18: New York at St. Louis, 1:15 p.m.*

Thu., Oct. 19: New York at St. Louis, 5:15 p.m.*

TV--Ch. 11; *--if necessary

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