McGwire has spent the last three seasons as the Dodgers’ hitting coach and before that was the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals. This is his first job as a bench coach.
“As a player I pretty much went through anything a player could ever wish upon as far as success, and all the failures,” he said in a conference call Wednesday. “You learn how to be a man through adversity and failure. The game is built on failure. I know how to bust through that. … I’m ecstatic about this new role. It’s a great challenge for me, moving up in the game.”
McGwire had a celebrated career with 583 home runs between stints with the Cardinals and Oakland A’s, but in 2010 he admitted to using steroids during parts of his career.
Green has had no previous baseball relationship with McGwire, but told reporters that everyone he talked to about “Big Mac” said that his No. 1 quality is his ability to connect with people of all different backgrounds.
“This guy has everything I’m looking for in the bench coach role,” he said. “He demonstrated it time and time again.”
The Padres also rounded out the rest of their coaching staff Wednesday under first-year manager Andy Green.
Pitching coach Darren Balsley and third-base coach Glenn Hoffman have been retained, but the team has added Alan Zinter as the hitting coach, Tarrik Brock at first-base coach, Doug Bochtler as bullpen coach and Eddie Rodriguez who the team said will serve a variety of roles.