February 13, 2020 at 6:01 pm
Pitchers and Catchers report today, which means the off-season is officially over and its time for Dodgers Baseball. With a new season upon us, a certain question still remains after 31 years, will this be the year the Dodgers drought to win the World Series ends? The past few seasons another question has emerged and it’s a strong point of contention amongst Dodgers fans, and that’s if our Manager Dave Roberts is the right man to lead them to that elusive World Series victory. Dave Roberts is a name that just seems to elicit a reaction. There seems to be a wide variety of opinions, from he’s an idiot to he’s nothing but a front office puppet or he just doesn’t have what it takes to get it done. There were no doubt mistakes made, but is it all his fault?
The Dodgers last won a World Series in 1988 under then Manager Tommy Lasorda. Since that time the Dodgers have had 8 managers. Bill Russell, Glenn Hoffman, Davey Johnson, Jim Tracy, Grady Little, Joe Torre, Don Mattingly, and Dave Roberts. The 7 managers prior to Roberts combined for 17 playoff wins in 19 years. Roberts has 25 playoff wins in 4 years. None of those managers won a league championship, Roberts has 2. The Dodgers hadn’t sniffed a World Series Berth till Roberts came along. Unfortunately, he’s 0-2 in those World Series but it could be credibly stated that on an even playing field he wins in 2017 and maybe people aren’t on his head about being fired.
Now, Roberts isn’t perfect as I stated before there were definitely mistakes made. Questions about how he manages a bullpen, and In-game decisions in general. Those are fair questions. Just this past NLDS against the Nationals I found myself wondering what he was doing when he made some moves. Game 4, Top of the 7th inning, one out and the bases loaded, instead of pinch-hitting David Freese who has seemingly managed to come up with big hit after big hit, Roberts chose Chris Taylor instead. I like Chris Taylor, hitting him there just didn’t seem like the right move. The Dodgers were already down 6-1 at the time pinch-hitting Freese made more sense. Could’ve made it a closer ballgame, also Could’ve done nothing but previous big at-bats says Freese is they guy. How about game 5? Bringing in Kershaw back out after getting Eaton to strikeout, or bringing back out Joe Kelly when the numbers say he’s less effective the second inning of work, and then leaving him out there as he falters. So, yes there are definitely some questions with his in-game decisions.
Despite that its no mistake why he’s been able to make it to 2 world series back-to-back. He’s a good manager. Players like Roberts, they enjoy going out there every day and playing for him. The players have bought into what Roberts has sold them and they’ve been largely successful in that. Dave has done a tremendous job communicating. Most players would rather be playing every day but those that struggle to do so get platooned and Dave, for the most part, has gotten those players to buy-in. He’s gotten them to stay ready and they’ve been better off for it. Roberts is clearly a player’s manager and has managed to get the most out of them.
One thing I have constantly seen all over social media is Roberts has lost back-to-back world series. He’s incapable. Heres my issue with that, Dodgers legend and Hall-of-Famer Tommy Lasorda, also lost his first 2 world series. In back to back years no less, in 1977 and 1978. He finally won in 1981 and then again in 1988. Were people calling for Lasorda’s job back then? It seems like he was given time, so why can’t Roberts be afforded that same amount of time? Since 88 the Dodgers have never been closer to winning the World Series. I think it would be a mistake, letting him go especially when there really isn’t a clear upgrade out there. Sure, Roberts has his flaws, but what manager doesn’t? At some point, the players are going to have to get it done. The Cubs players got it done despite Joe Maddon’s mistakes. The Dodgers players can do the same.
What do you guys think? Is Dave Roberts the right manager to lead the Dodgers to their first World Series Championship since ’88 or is it time for someone new? If you feel like there needs to be a new manager then who do you think is the right manager to get the job done?
February 13, 2020 at 10:29 pm
I like Roberts for tha job. Like you said, we might win in ’17 on an even playing field. I also really like how he gets tha guys to buy-in. I’ve never seen a manager do that while avoiding media-driven team drama, especially in LA.
Log in to reply.