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Orel Hershiser: McCourt can leave Dodgers "with his head held high"

March 21, 2012|By Bill Shaikin
  • Former Dodgers starter Orel Hershiser delivers a pitch during a spring training game against the Montreal Expos in 2000.
Former Dodgers starter Orel Hershiser delivers a pitch during a spring… (J. Pat Carter / Associated…)

Orel Hershiser and Steve Garvey joined forces in a Dodgers bidding group that had plenty of star power but not enough money. Hershiser and Garvey failed to survive the first cut in the Dodgers' ownership sweepstakes. On a conference call to promote his ESPN Sunday night baseball broadcasts, Hershiser said his group did not have the resources to compete at the $1.5 billion range.

"I think that we were knocked out at our $1.2 billion range.  And then we weren't really able to go any higher," Hershiser said Wednesday, according to a transcript provided by ESPN. "We had raised capital for $800 million to about 1.2, and we felt like it was important to put it in at the highest point at that time.  But we didn't go any further.

"I've continued to have some talks with people that are still in the game.  And I look forward to seeing new ownership there.  I think Mr. McCourt is going to be able to leave with his head held high. 

"And he's done some good things there.  But the organization has struggled on the field a little bit, and I really don't want to talk about the process or any of the internal conversations that have happened yet, because it's still going on."

Hershiser said he enjoys his job at ESPN. He suggested he would be unlikely to join the Dodgers in any capacity that did not involve an ownership stake.

"My goal was to possibly be an owner of the Dodgers," he said.  "My goal was not to be an employee of the Dodgers.  I have a great job.  I love my job.  I'd like to do this the rest of my life. 

"But if someone ever gave me an opportunity to actually be part owner of a ball club and have a large impact, that would be the community I would want to have that impact.  That's why I chased that dream."

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