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Orel Hershiser moves into Rangers front office

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Orel Hershiser resigned as pitching coach of the Texas Rangers on Friday to become the team's executive director.


The move appeared to end Hershiser's rumored candidacy for the Los Angeles Dodgers' vacant managerial spot.


Hershiser moves into the front office almost a month after Dodgers general manager Paul DePodesta said the Rangers granted him permission to speak with the former Dodgers pitcher about replacing Jim Tracy.


The 47-year-old Hershiser joined the Rangers before the 2002 season as a special assistant to former general manager John Hart. He became the team's pitching coach in 2003 when Buck Showalter became manager.


"When I became the pitching coach of the Rangers three years ago, I knew I was not going to be in that position for the long term," Hershiser said in a statement. "It is time for me to move onto different things in my life and (Rangers owner) Tom Hicks has provided me an opportunity to stay in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and with the Rangers."


Mark Connor, who served the last three seasons as bullpen coach of the Rangers, becomes the team's pitching coach. Dom Chiti, formerly the club's director of player personnel, will replace Connor.


The team also announced that Bobby Jones will return for his second stint as first base and outfield coach. Jones held the same spot in 2000 and '01 under former Rangers managers Johnny Oates and Jerry Narron.


Jones was previously manager for the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma.

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