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Cardinals promote John Mabry to replace Mark McGwire as hitting coach

Nov 5, 2012, 4:46 PM EDT

John Mabry AP AP

As expected the Cardinals have promoted John Mabry from assistant hitting coach to hitting coach following Mark McGwire’s departure to take the same job with the Dodgers.

Mabry was chosen for manager Mike Matheny’s coaching staff last offseason after Mike Aldrete went from assistant hitting coach to bench coach. No word yet on who the Cardinals will turn to as their new assistant hitting coach, although Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch expects it to be an in-house choice.

St. Louis also announced Triple-A pitching coach Blaise Ilsley as their new bullpen coach, replacing Dyar Miller, who was the only member of Matheny’s coaching staff not asked to return.

  1. youjivinmeturkey - Nov 5, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    John Mabry and Jack “The Ripper” Clark are still my two FAVORITE 1ST-Basemen EVER for the St.Louis Cardinals. I’m VERY pleased to see that Mabes has been given his rightful promotion. Let’s just hope he can do the job, and do it well! GO CARDS!!! :D
    -B.

  2. The Dangerous Mabry - Nov 5, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    Outstanding. I’ve always had a soft spot for Mr Mabry, as you may be able to tell. Here’s why:

    The year was 1996. I was a senior in high school on the upper east side of Manhattan, and I was in astronomy class on the morning of April 1. At the appointed time, I, and several of my classmates, stood up and marched out of the classroom, en route to the subway to head to Shea Stadium for the Mets home opener. 42,060 hopeful Mets fans were in attendance. They’d had their fill of mediocrity, and were half-hoping this might be the season they broke out (it wasn’t).

    It was a typical opening day at Shea, 47 degrees at game time with a light mist falling and no sign of the sun anywhere in the sky. A young Bobby Jones was on the hill for the Mets in his third full season as a starter for the club, and Andy Benes (the good Benes) took the ball for St Louis. Benes had come over from Seattle in the offseason, and was the new ace for the Cardinals team. Reviewing the lineups, we noticed that the Cardinals first baseman was a man named John Mabry. Mabry was starting his second season as a regular for the Cards, having batted an impressive .307 the previous season, though with limited power. At any rate, none of us had heard of the fellow, and one of us (I honestly can’t remember who) referred to him quite sarcastically as “The Dangerous Mabry”. This fateful moment would live in infamy.

    The first inning passed quickly, a handful of groundouts for St Louis and three quick outs for the Mets. In the top of the second, Ron Gant walked to lead off the inning, and advanced to third on a single from Gary Gaetti. This brought “The Dangerous Mabry” to the dish, and he promptly drove in the first run of the game with a long sacrifice fly to Lance Johnson. We shared a chuckle, since Mabry had given the ball a good ride, and drawn first blood, and we thought it was pretty amusing to see that come from the man we’d mocked. No harm really done, it was just a long fly that scored the first run. Right?

    The game continued fairly quietly, with the Cardinals tacking on another run in the third inning on a Royce Clayton double which scored Willie McGee, and in the top of the fourth, with St Louis up 2-0, Mabry stepped up to the plate again. He battled Bobby Jones to a 3-2 count, and then deposited a ball in front of the scoreboard in right field. A legend was born.

    Jones was knocked out of the game in that very inning after giving up a 3 run shot to McGee. Mabry’s bat was quiet for the rest of the day, and the Mets mounted a mighty comeback to win the game 7-6, aided by a heroic throw to the plate from rookie SS Rey Ordonez.

    While no harm ended up being done (given the eventual outcome), I learned a valuable lesson about John Mabry. The man is not to be mocked.

    • dondada10 - Nov 5, 2012 at 6:31 PM

      Great story, dude. As a Mets fan, I remember the game well.

      Now if only Kobe Bryant and Shaq can feud again, I can explain my origin story.

      • okwhitefalcon - Nov 5, 2012 at 11:00 PM

        Great anecdote, well done.

    • The Dangerous Mabry - Nov 6, 2012 at 11:04 AM

      By the way, we can all enjoy that throw again at 0:40 in this video (though all the highlights are pretty great). Sure, he couldn’t hit, and he said a number of things to piss off the fan base, but I loved watching Rey-O play.

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