The Dodgers, if my memory serves me correct, are now the only team in baseball without a manager. While it looked like the Nationals had one in Bud Black, reports indicate that they extremely lowballed his offer and announced this morning that Dusty Baker will be their manager.
I don’t have enough space on the internet for all the jokes. But in all seriousness. It now becomes the Dodgers’ responsibility to trade for Stephen Strasburg. Not to make him a Dodger. But to save his already-troubled arm from Baker. And it would be pretty cool for him to be a Dodger.
With Black back on the market, he has to be one of the top candidates. But today, Ken Rosenthal reported that the Dodgers interviewed one of Black’s former coaches with the Padres and an old friend.
Dave Roberts! I loved Roberts (the player) so much that I forgot he finished his career as a Giant. He played 10 MLB seasons, starting in Cleveland before being traded to the Dodgers for Christian Bridenbaugh and Nial Hughes. He was the Dodger center fielder for two and a half years before being traded to Boston, where he was a vital cog in their first World Series victory in 86 years. Boston was down 3-0 in the ALCS against the Yankees and trailing 4-3 in the ninth, when Roberts pinch ran, stole second and then scored on a single to tie the game.
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While Roberts bounced around, he played his most games and had his most at-bats with the Dodgers. He stole 118 bases in 302 games as a Dodger and walked two fewer times in his Dodger career than he struck out.
The former UCLA Bruin had been a coach in San Diego since 2011, as both a bench coach and their first base coach. He has managerial experience, as after the Padres fired Bud Black, he served as the interim manager for one game, which the Padres lost to Oakland.
Feb 21, 2014; Peoria, AZ, USA; San Diego Padres bench coach Dave Roberts (10) poses for a photo during photo day at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Rosenthal’s tweet said that the Dodgers aren’t close to a decision, which is probably a good thing. Previous reports indicated that the Dodgers want a manager before the Winter Meetings, which begin on December 7. Due diligence is a good thing, and without a lot of competition the Dodgers should take their time and consider all options.
Gabe Kapler, Bud Black and Dave Roberts seem like logical candidates right now. They’ll reportedly interview Darin Erstad, and if they haven’t yet will probably interview Tim Wallach. Dave Martinez is probably my favorite candidate, and Ron Roenicke seems like a likely candidate as well. That’s seven names, and I honestly wouldn’t mind any of them. Erstad is probably my least favorite of the bunch, but it appears that the Dodgers will have a different breed of manager than they had last year.
Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt is expected to remain the Dodger pitching coach and then transition into a special assistant role, according to Jon Morosi. Mark McGwire’s status as hitting coach is very much up in the air. There is a lot of change coming in LA.
On another note, MLB awards season begins on November 16. Dodgers probably won’t have much to do on the first couple days with Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year being announced, but the Cy Young award will be announced on the 18th.