Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

New Mac Attack Mcraes Wearing New Uniforms

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

New Mac Attack Mcraes Wearing New Uniforms

Article excerpt

Here they were again, together sort of, just like any other opener from the last three years.

There was Brian McRae, digging in at the plate, slowly working his bat in circular motions, peering at the mound. In the dugout behind Brian sat his father, Hal, arms folded, hat cocked askew, an intent gaze coming from an expressionless face.

But this scene was nowhere close to the recent past for the McRaes, their 22-year lineage with the Kansas City Royals now broken, probably forever.

This was Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium, not Kauffman Stadium. Brian McRae was now wearing the blue-gray-red collage of the Chicago Cubs. Hal was adorned in the fire-engine red attire of Cincinnati, serving as the Reds' hitting coach.

Both seemed unusually right at home. Comfortable. Content.

"Looks good, doesn't he?" Hal noted before the game. "Looks good in that uniform. Best thing that could ever have happened to him, going to the Cubs."

With that, the McRaes are in total agreement, though their conclusions are drawn from different premises.

Hal, who was fired as manager by the Royals last fall, believes Brian will benefit being on his own, away from his father. Brian had a good start Wednesday, going three for five with a triple and a run-scoring double in the Cubs' 7-1 victory.

"I think it was time for him to be on his own," Hal said. "It's like being set free. The best thing is getting away from me.

"It will help his career because he'll be more relaxed. He'll enjoy the game more. He'll be free from the pressure, free from all the comparisons. Now he'll just be his own man."

Hal believes his son sometimes put too much pressure on himself during the team's struggles.

"I think at times he tried too hard," Hal said. "It's better to be away now. This way, when they criticize the manager, they won't be criticizing his father."

Brian, however, will disagree, respectfully.

"I don't think I ever felt pressure," he said. "We had a good relationship. Maybe there was one tough year, '92, when we started out 1-16. But we were just a bad team."

No, Brian is thankful to be a Cub not because he is away from his father. …

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