Murray excited about third stint with Dodgers
LOS ANGELES -- Eddie Murray flashed a smile when someone asked if he was the same person who had an icy relationship with reporters during his Hall of Fame playing career
"I'm just as evil as ever," he said.
Actually, Murray couldn't have been more pleasant Wednesday when discussing his new job as hitting coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"When you grow up with 11 brothers and sisters, it's hard to talk about me and I," Murray said. "You get the notoriety; it's not all good."
While Murray acknowledged he might not have been at his locker at times after getting a big hit, he recalled always making himself available after committing a key error, for example.
And he said he didn't have problems with everyone in the media.
"Only some," he said, smiling again.
Murray, one of three players to get 3,000 hits and 500 homers, was the hitting coach for the Cleveland Indians for 3½ years before being fired from manager Eric Wedge's staff last June.
When asked about that, he replied: "You don't want to know. It had nothing to do with on the field. The best way to put it is you're hired to be fired. You're going to have to ask the manager.
"Two years ago, we had more guys in the All-Star game than anybody. That was something to be proud of. Hopefully I had something to do with it."
The 49-year-old Murray played for the Dodgers from 1989-91 and again in 1997 before retiring.
"I don't know if I would have taken a job anywhere else," he said. "You do get tired of moving. This has always been home."
Murray said he was encouraged with the offseason changes made by new Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti.
"This year should be some fun," Murray said. "If this particular ballclub stays healthy, we can do some things. We have speed where we might be able to manufacture runs if we're not swinging well. I really think we've got a pretty good ballclub on paper."
Murray also said he looks forward to helping Nomar Garciaparra. A shortstop most of his career, Garciaparra is moving to first base, where Murray earned three Gold Gloves during his 21 big league seasons.
The Dodgers announced the hiring of Murray along with five other newcomers on the coaching staff Tuesday.
"I knew of all of them. I didn't know any of them," Colletti said of the six.
Colletti, hired two months ago after nine years as assistant GM for the San Francisco Giants, recalled a conversation he had last season with Giants manager Felipe Alou.
"Felipe says, 'You know who's got a chance to be a great coach? David Jauss.' I never forgot that," Colletti said. "In my travels, my network, that's not unusual."
Jauss is the Dodgers' new bench coach. Rick Honeycutt will be the pitching coach; Mariano Duncan the first base coach; Rich Donnelly the third base coach, and Dan Warthen the bullpen coach.
In addition, Manny Mota will return for his 27th season as a Dodgers coach, and Rob Flippo will be back for his fifth season as the team's bullpen catcher.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press