Why Orel Hershiser isn’t (completely) done dreaming about his Dodger ownership chances

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Orel Hershiser, who had aligned himself as a potential Dodger owners with a group that included Steve Garvey and Natual Balance Pet Foods president Joey Herrick , explained a little today about why their bid ended last January in the first round of vetting by Frank McCourt’s company handling the bankruptcy auction of the team.

But it doesn’t necessarily mean that the Dodgers’ 1988 Cy Young Award winner and World Series MVP isn’t completely done dreaming about it.

On an ESPN conference call with reporters this morning, Hershiser, joined by “Sunday Night Baseball” broadcast partners Terry Francona and John Shulman, answered our questions about sheding a little light on why his group’s bidding ended early.

“We were knocked out at the $1.2 billion range and then we weren’t able to go any higher,” Hershiser said. “We raised capital for $800 million-to-$1.2 (billion) and we felt it was important to put it in at the highest point at that time. But we didn’t go any further.

“I still had some talks with people who are still in the (bidding) game and I look forward to seeing new ownership there. … I really don’t want to talk about the process or any of the internal conversations that have happened yet because it’s still going on.”

Hershiser said he goal to possibly be in the Dodgers’ ownership group is “why I chased that dream, and that dream is probably not possible now with the ownership.” He said he has been “getting feelers as far as employment (with the team),” but unless it’s part of an ownership situation, he would rather stay at ESPN working on the “Sunday Night Baseball” crew. He starts his third season in that role and has been with ESPN since 2006.

“But if someone ever gave me an opportuinity to be a part-owner of a ballclub, and to have a large impact, that would be the community I’d want to have the impact,” he added.

Hershiser said he still thinks McCourt will “be able to leave with his head held high and he’s done some good things there. But the organization has struggled on the field a little bit.” He said the team’s 82 wins in 2011 should be considered an achievement considering “the chaos of last year” and if the Dodgers of 2012 are in the mix at midseason, “I wouldn’t look at that as someone who isn’t going to acquire players. I’d look at them as a shopper when we get to that point because new ownership will want to show the fans: We’re in this to win and turn it around. It would be good for all of baseball if the Los Angeles Dodgers started creeping back closer to the top.”

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