Mark McGwire earns his chance for a new path with Dodgers

McGwire managed all that success, then, wanting to be near his Irvine home, managed to persuade the Cardinals to allow him to become one of the hottest coaching free agents in years. The Dodgers, with a lineup of great hitters who sometimes seem to have little clue, were a perfect fit.

"When we played St. Louis the past few years, there were always conversations about how well they adjusted inside a game, inside an at-bat," said Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti. "We're privileged and thrilled to have a person of this quality."

I also asked Colletti about the steroids, so you blame me for that too.

"That he apologized for it, that's very important, we all make mistakes," said Colletti. "He's done other things in his life of high character. When you talk to people who really know him, when you see how he lives his life … you forgive the mistake."

That McGwire has been willing to resurrect all the questions and relive all the embarrassment for a chance to spend five hours a day standing behind a batting cage shows his crazy love for his craft.

"I got back into the game because I love teaching; I didn't do it for any attention, and sometimes I'm sorry the attention does follow me," he said.

There's no forgetting here, certainly, but this narrative seems to have moved long past forgiveness and into, you know, pitch counts.

"Hitting is patience, patience, patience," McGwire said. "Get the starter to 80 pitches in five innings, work the count, that's what the game is all about."

At the depth of McGwire's steroid humiliation, St. Louis politicians even removed his name from a local highway. Having climbing out of that ditch, he deserves every chance to carve a new path here.