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Jerry Hairston Jr., future manager?

3/5/2013

At 5-foot-9 and 195 pounds, Jerry Hairston Jr. is not quite the prototypical major league player.

But it might be impossible to come up with a better background for coaching or managing. His ties to the game are as deep as anyone's, with a grandfather, father and brother who all played -- or play -- in the major leagues. He has played five positions over a 14-year major league career with nine organizations.

He understands Spanish and is one of the most vocal players in the Dodgers' clubhouse. He has taken some of the Dodgers' young players, particularly Dee Gordon, under his wing. He has learned leadership skills from former teammates such as Will Clark, Derek Jeter and Cal Ripken Jr.

"So, yeah, I think Jerry, if he wanted to be, would be a really good coach," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.

Mattingly isn't the only manager who has thought that. Hairston said he has a standing offer from one major league manager -- he won't say who -- to join his staff as third-base coach. Other organizations have invited him to manage in the minor leagues.

Hairston, 36, first has to decide when he's going to retire. He goes into this season as the Dodgers' primary backup in right field, left field and third base. Depending how well his body holds up and how well the Dodgers play, Hairston said he'll assess his future after the season.

Beyond that, he'll keep his options open. He might prefer a microphone to a lineup card.

"Broadcasting gives you an avenue to be around the game and you don’t have to have a stake in winning or losing," Hairston said. "Plus, you get to talk about all 30 teams which I like. We'll see."