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Fans show love for drug cheat McGwire

Mark McGwire received a standing ovation from Cardinals fans on Sunday in his first public appearance in St Louis since admitting he used steroids.

His scheduled news conference, only minutes later, was much more combative, where McGwire evaded questions about the criticism he's received from ex-players.

He repeatedly emphasised that he was ready to talk about the game instead of drugs.

"I hope you all can accept this," McGwire said. "Let's all move on. Baseball is great right now, baseball is better."

The team's new hitting coach was cheered by fans and McGwire told them: "I made a huge mistake in my life and it's something I want you guys to learn from. Don't ever, ever go down that road."

In a brief appearance, McGwire said he was happy about his chance to put on a major league uniform again. The former home run king then headed for an afternoon hitting session to immerse himself in his new job.