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Dodgers to interview ex-Angel Darin Erstad for manager's job

Dodgers to interview ex-Angel Darin Erstad for manager's job
Nebraska baseball Coach Darin Erstad argues with an umpire over a call during a game against Michigan State in May 2014. Erstad is among a handful of former major league players coaching in the college ranks. (Francis Gardler / Lincoln Journal Star)

And then out of right field – OK, maybe center – comes an unexpected candidate to become the next Dodgers manager.

Darin Erstad.

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Hey, if the Angels can hire an ex-Dodger as manager …

The Times has confirmed that Erstad is expected to interview next week for the position vacated by Don Mattingly. It was first reported by Fox reporter Ken Rosenthal.

Erstad spent the first 11 years of his 14-year career with the Angels. It was Erstad who caught the final out in Game 7 when the Angels won their only World Series in 2002.

For the last four seasons, Erstad has been the head baseball coach at his alma mater, Nebraska. The Dodgers' new – can we still call them new? – front office was supposed to think outside the box.

Erstad was known as a leader with the Angels, a gamer who played all out and was never shy about sacrificing his body to make a diving catch. A two-time All-Star and winner of three Gold Gloves, his best season was in 2000 when he hit .355 with 25 home runs, 100 RBI, 121 runs and 28 steals.

He played baseball three years at Nebraska, leaving as the career record-holder for hits, and was the starting punter on the Cornhuskers' 1994 national championship team.

Erstad, 41, has never coached or managed in the majors or minors. He took over the Nebraska baseball team in 2012 after previously serving as the hitting coach. He is 139-97 in his four years as Nebraska's head coach. The Cornhuskers advanced to one NCAA regional in 2014.

The Dodgers would not confirm the Erstad interview, but Sean Callahan of Huskeronline.com said he spoke to him Friday and that Erstad told him he was "still processing all of this" and had no comment about the Dodgers job.

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