Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
McRae thrilled to still be shivering
Floridian is in clover in the Cardinals dugout.
By MARC TOPKIN
Published October 23, 2006
DETROIT - Sunday night was raw, with temperatures that measured in the low 40s and felt much cooler, the wind biting and the chill bone-rattling.
Hal McRae - Avon Park native, Bradenton resident, Floridian through and through - couldn't have been happier. Because being here beat the alternatives.
"I'm not home," McRae said. "I'm in cold weather, so that's good. Forty degrees is much better than 90 degrees."
In October, anyway.
Having put behind him a doomed-from-the-start stint as manager of the Devil Rays and two more years with a title in the front office but no real responsibilities, McRae has happily spent the past two seasons as the Cardinals hitting coach.
He likes the job, he likes the challenge, he likes the baseball-crazed city, he likes the opportunity to work for Tony La Russa.
And, most of all, he likes the winning.
"I love everything about it," McRae said. "I thought I was a winning kind of player and I was on a lot of winning clubs, so I would think that I'm a winner."
McRae, 61, didn't win much during his nearly two full seasons managing the Rays, going 58-90 when he took over for the fired Larry Rothschild early in the 2001 season and a franchise-worst 55-106 the next season before being replaced by Lou Piniella.
"It was a good experience in that I was managing, and there's always something positive in anything you do," McRae said. "But the worst part of it was just the losing. That's the thing that hurts the most. It kinds of eats at your fiber. ... It softens you up. You deteriorate."
This has been a much better time, as the Cardinals have won back-to-back NL Central titles. His family - including wife Jo, who he said is "doing good" in her battle with cancer - will all be in St. Louis for Tuesday's Game 3 to help celebrate the fifth World Series appearance as a career and first as a coach.
McRae's two-year contract expires at the end of this season and he'd like to stay, but he said there have been no talks - at least not yet - about a new deal. He has no interest in managing again but said he isn't ready to head home to Bradenton for good just yet.
La Russa gives him a lot of respect and a solid appraisal. "He's a very smart man," La Russa said. "He understands what hitting is about. He knows when to say something and when not to say anything. And he understands winning."