LOS ANGELES (AP) – Orel Hershiser, one of the key members of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 1988 World Series championship team, will interview for the club’s vacant managerial job.

General manager Paul DePodesta confirmed Friday the club had requested and been granted permission by the Texas Rangers to speak with Hershiser, who was among baseball’s top pitchers from 1983-2000, compiling a career record of 204-150 with a 3.48 ERA.

An interview will take place early next week in the Los Angeles area, DePodesta said.

The 47-year-old Hershiser joined the Rangers before the 2002 season as a special assistant to former general manager John Hart and became the team’s pitching coach in 2003. He pitched for the Dodgers from 1983-94 and again briefly in 2000 before retiring as a player.

“I think he’s genuinely interested,” DePodesta said. “There’s no question that he’s very bright. He certainly does understand what it takes to win. He made himself into a tremendous pitcher, possibly a Hall of Famer. Along those lines, it’s hard not to like a guy like that.”

The Dodgers’ managerial job became vacant Oct. 3 when the team and Jim Tracy agreed to cut ties. Tracy was hired last week to manage the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Hershiser will become the sixth candidate to be interviewed for the Dodgers’ job. The others are Terry Collins, the team’s director of player development who previously managed the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels; Alan Trammell, fired as manager of the Detroit Tigers on Oct. 3; Jerry Royster, manager of the Dodgers’ Triple-A team in Las Vegas; Torey Lovullo, a manager in the Cleveland Indians’ system; and Ron Wotus, bench coach for the San Francisco Giants.

Major League Baseball discourages significant announcements during the World Series, which begins Saturday. DePodesta said it’s possible the Dodgers could reach a decision next week, but wouldn’t make an announcement until the following week.

AP-ES-10-21-05 2005EDT

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