Outside of Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman stating he hopes to have a manager in place by the Winter Meetings, which begin Dec. 7, and general manager Farhan Zaidi later reiterating that notion, there’s little known of the search for Don Mattingly’s replacement.
After conducting a first round of interviews, believed to have included nine candidates, the Dodgers reportedly trimmed their list to four on Nov. 13.
Names of the finalists varied a bit, though University of Nebraska head coach Darin Erstad was included in the group.
However, by that Friday evening, Erstad informed the Dodgers he was withdrawing his name from consideration.
As for his interview with the Dodgers, the former Angels outfielder described it as intense, according to Jon Nyatawa of Omaha.com:
He flew out to Los Angeles for the Nov. 5 interview. He got grilled on in-game scenarios and baseball philosophies. “One of the more intense experiences that I’ve been a part of,” Erstad said.
Although Erstad was a finalist for the Dodgers’ managerial vacancy, he didn’t consider himself the favorite but is happy to have gone through the experience:
“Would I have gotten the job? Who knows? It would have been a long shot,” Erstad said, “but it was definitely an experience that I needed to go through. And in the end, if it did anything, it just made my love for this university, this community and getting to work with these student-athletes even stronger than it was before.”
Erstad retired in 2009 after 14 seasons in the Majors, spending much of it with the Angels organization. He served as a volunteer hitting coach at Nebraska during the 2011 season, then was hired by his alma mater to lead the baseball program.
The Huskers went 29-30, including 15-9 in Big Ten games during Erstad’s first season as head coach. He guided Nebraska to the NCAA Tournament in 2014 with an at-large bid to the Stillwater Regional.
The Dodgers are now believed to be deciding between team director of player development Gabe Kapler and former San Diego Padres bench coach Dave Roberts, with a decision expected in the coming days.