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01/07/10 8:41 PM EST

McGwire to speak, but date not set

Cards GM hopeful new hitting coach will appear soon

ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said on Thursday that things are still progressing toward Mark McGwire's first public appearance as the club's hitting coach. However, Mozeliak also said that no date for such a session is set yet.

"We just want to make sure it's done right and we're hopeful we can do something shortly," Mozeliak said at a news conference where the Cardinals officially announced the re-signing of Matt Holliday. "Right now we're on track. In terms of when we roll it out, I don't know."

Manager Tony La Russa told the Contra Costa Times that he expects McGwire to speak soon -- perhaps by the end of this month, certainly before Spring Training. However, La Russa expressed such optimism earlier this winter, and each time the appearance has not materialized.

"He knows he's got to be forthcoming sooner than later," La Russa told the paper. "Now that we're past the holidays and awards, I think it'll happen soon. ... I'm curious to see what he says. I know enough about him and his character, I know he's a quality guy."

As for another La Russa comment to the newspaper, Mozeliak said he wasn't taking it too seriously. La Russa said in the Contra Costa story that he hoped McGwire might be able to join the Cardinals as a pinch-hitter on Aug. 31, if the team is in postseason contention.

"It's a nice little dream," he said.

However, Mozeliak downplayed the possibility.

"I hadn't thought much about it," he said. "I did get a hold of Tony and he did preface it by saying he was kidding. I think the fact that they're even joking about it, I think that's positive for us."

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.