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Jerry Hairston Jr. will retire if Dodgers win the World Series

Dodgers utilityman Jerry Hairston Jr. is frequently mentioned as a likely backup to starting left fielder Carl Crawford.
(Christina House / For The Times)

Jerry Hairston Jr. will call it a career if he wins another World Series ring this year.

“If we win the World Series, I guarantee you I’m going to retire,” Hairston said. “You can’t get any better than that.”

Hairston, the Dodgers’ 36-year-old utilityman, won a World Series with the New York Yankees in 2009.

“It would be cool to say I won one with the Yankees and won one with the Dodgers,” he said.

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But Hairston, whose family was honored Saturday at the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation gala, will first have to come back from a hip operation that cut short his 2012 season.

Hairston said his surgically repaired left hip is no longer bothering him and that he shouldn’t be limited in any way in spring training.

“I did it in September so I had the off-season to recover,” he said. “Last week, I really started to run aggressively. It looks good.”

At this stage of the winter, Hairston doesn’t know how he’ll be used by the Dodgers. He’s been frequently mentioned as a likely backup to starting left fielder Carl Crawford, who is recovering from reconstructive elbow surgery.

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If Luis Cruz can’t maintain his surprising form from last season, Hairston could find himself receiving the majority of innings at third base.

“I prepare just to be ready to play,” Hairston said. “I want to play where Donnie wants me to play. My focus is winning another World Series. I’m entering my 15th year in the big leagues. I know my days are numbered.”

Hairston approved of the moves the Dodgers made this winter, particularly the addition of Zack Greinke.

“Really, the onus is on us as players,” Hairston said. “We have every piece.”

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Hairston said played with Greinke in 2011. “Zack’s very intelligent,” Hairston said. “But he’s not a very good fantasy football player, I know that firsthand.”

Hairston laughed and continued, “A lot of people make a big deal that he’s a little quiet. But Zack’s a great teammate. He wants the ball in big games. He’s always on the bench cheering you on. He will pick you up if you make a mistake.”

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