Following the ejection of San Diego Padres manager Andy Green, former single-season home run king Mark McGwire served as an acting manager Tuesday night for the first time in his major league coaching career. 

Green was tossed in the third inning of Tuesday’s 5-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates after arguing a balk call against Padres pitcher Colin Rea. That resulted in McGwire being elevated from bench coach to manager for the remainder of the game.

En route to piloting the Padres to victory, McGwire was successful on one of the two manager’s challenges he attempted.

Big Mac is in his first season with the Padres after previous stints with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

McGwire served as a manager for some split-squad games for the Padres during spring training and admitted that being a full-time manager at some point is on his radar, per Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune:

I’ve never ruled it out. When I had the opportunity to come and be Andy’s bench coach, it’s just a fantastic opportunity. I love challenges, and there’s nothing better than challenging yourself, especially in the game of baseball. I did it as a player. Now I’m doing it as a coach. You just have to know your personnel, you have to check in with them every day, you have to know the opposition real well. Really, it’s a lot of baseball sense. So, here we go.

With the 52-year-old former 12-time All-Star at the helm, San Diego overcame a 3-0 deficit to win 5-4 by virtue of three home runs.

McGwire has 583 career home runs and set the single-season mark with 70 in 1998 before it was surpassed by Barry Bonds. 

Green joked about the correlation between McGwire and the Padres’ power binge following the game, according to “They took some good swings. Clearly when Mark McGwire is managing, they hit home runs.”

While it was likely a coincidence, the numbers seemed to back up Green’s assertion following the Padres’ third home run of Tuesday’s game, per Kirk D. Kenney of the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Green will reassume his managerial duties Wednesday when the Padres and Pirates meet again, but Tuesday’s come-from-behind win was a great audition for McGwire with regard to potential managerial positions in the future.

McGwire has already served in multiple roles from hitting coach to bench coach during his time in the dugout, so manager is the next natural progression.

If the Padres’ performance Tuesday is any indication, McGwire might have what it takes to excel in that position, much like he did at first base for 16 major league seasons.


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