Old bulldogs never die, they just come back in a new incarnation.
Orel Hershiser, the Dodgers’ former Cy Young winner and last World Series MVP, is returning as a team television broadcaster, according to two people familiar with the situation who spoke to The Times on the condition of anonymity.
Hershiser adds another big name to the broadcasting crew for the Dodgers’ new regional sports network, SportsNet LA.
Last week the Dodgers added former team infielder Nomar Garciaparra as a commentator. The Dodgers are also adding Alanna Rizzo from MLB Network to their pre- and post-game shows.
Hershiser, like Garciaparra, joins the Dodgers from ESPN. Hershiser spent most of the last seven years as a baseball analyst at the sports cable giant.
The hires are expected to be announced this week.
Hershiser will take over an expanded version of Steve Lyons’ past role as a television broadcaster. Lyons and Eric Collins were not retained after their contracts expired at the end of the season.
Hershiser, 55, has worn several different hats since retiring in 2000 after an 18-year career. He was briefly a player-personnel consultant for the Dodgers, a pitching coach, assistant general manager and executive director of the Texas Rangers, and threw in with Steve Garvey in a bid to purchase the Dodgers during Frank McCourt’s bankruptcy sale.
Now he’s going to work for the ownership group that did win the bid, Guggenheim Baseball Management. ESPN had an option to equal any offer Hershiser received, but reportedly elected not to match.
The Dodgers have yet to finalize all their plans for SportsNet LA, but there are expected to be several Dodgers-themed shows Hershiser will also be a part of.
Garciaparra will work pre- and post-game commentary on both television and radio. The six-time All-Star played three years for the Dodgers.
Rizzo is a well-respected television reporter who spent the last two seasons with MLB after five years as a sideline reporter for the Colorado Rockies.