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McGwire, Duncan retain positions with Cardinals

ST. LOUIS (AP) — New Cardinals manager Mike Matheny is keeping most of Tony La Russa’s coaching staff.

Mark McGwire and Dave Duncan are staying on for 2012, but first base coach Dave McKay and bench coach Joe Pettini were both dropped from their positions Wednesday. Both will remain in the organization and assist in baseball operations.

“Just like our players, the Cardinals organization places a high level of expectation on its coaches,” new manager Mike Matheny said. “I have great admiration for the work these men have done throughout their careers and we will continue to invest in the preparation, coaching and leadership necessary to build upon that success.”

McGwire will enter his third season with the club. The 66-year-old Duncan was La Russa’s pitching coach with the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics and the Cardinals.

They were announced Wednesday as coaches for 2012 under Matheny, who succeeded La Russa as manager following the team’s World Series title.

Bullpen coach Derek Lilliquist returns, and assistant hitting coach Mike Aldrete was elevated to bench coach.

Chris Maloney, the manager at Triple-A Memphis the past five seasons, replaces McKay.

The 66-year-old Duncan will enter his 17th season with the Cardinals and 33rd overall, most among major-league pitching coaches. He had been the only member of La Russa’s staff under contract for next year.

Duncan missed several weeks last season tending to his wife, Janine, who had surgery in August to remove a brain tumor.

The Cardinals beat a self-imposed deadline of having a staff in place by the end of the week, just as they did when announcing they had hired the 41-year-old Matheny on Sunday to a two-year contract with a club option for a third.

“Once we identified Mike as our new manager, he quickly went to work in assembling a coaching staff that offers a wealth of experience and leadership, but he also looked at areas where we could provide growth opportunities for key members from within the organization,” Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said. “We are extremely excited about our staff for next season.”

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