Dodgers Introduce Dave Roberts

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The Dodgers kicked off December with an introductory press conference for new manager Dave Roberts.

The Dodgers formally introduced their new manager on Tuesday, with Roberts, Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi fielding questions from various reporters.

Magic Johnson presented Roberts with his Dodger jersey, complete with the number 30 that he wore in his two and a half years as a Dodger outfielder from 2002-2004. Scott Schebler will need a new jersey number, as he wore 30 when he was on the Dodgers last year.

During the conference, Roberts had a lot of answers you would expect to hear from a coach. He said the goal is to win a championship and that he’s a fan of grit, presumably because playing a hard-nosed style of baseball is what gave Roberts a 10-year MLB career.

The front office repeated that they were searching for a manager they believed would be “open to new ideas” and that Roberts personified that quality they wanted.

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

No coaching staff has been decided on yet, but Roberts stressed that he wanted teachers and leaders that would challenge him. He also desires to get the Dodgers back to being a running team, saying it was the “Dodger way”. Appreciate the shoutout to the website, Dave.

Friedman and Zaidi seemed to be ecstatic with Roberts. Friedman said that after the first round of interviews, it seemed like Roberts has their answer key of the answers they wanted to hear. Zaidi added “There’s no way Roberts walked out of that interview without thinking ‘I nailed that'”.

Roberts beat out betting favorite Gabe Kapler for the position, but Friedman and Zaidi said that Kapler was definitely going to remain with the Dodgers in some capacity. They didn’t specify that it would be at his old position of Director of Player Development, so it’ll be interesting to see where he ends up within the organization. It seems like Roberts will be selecting his own coaching staff, and after the press conference Zaidi said the plan was to have a coaching staff rounded out this week.

After the stream and feed cut out, there was more reporting done by the beat writers that were on scene for the presser. Friedman denied that Clayton Kershaw asked him to move Yasiel Puig, as was said on a radio show by Andy Van Slyke (per Matthew Moreno). I didn’t write about that because I didn’t think it was a story, so thanks to Friedman for confirming that. Magic also stated that the Dodgers top priority this offseason was to re-sign Zack Greinke (per Bill Shaikin).

Next: Dodgers Top 10 Prospects List Released by Baseball America

Roberts stated “To put on a Dodger uniform again, it’s come full circle”, and it truly has. Roberts seems like a slam dunk hire and Dodger fans should be ecstatic about it. Unfortunately, the only way Roberts can truly succeed in his Dodger managerial career is to bring home the first World Series title Los Angeles has seen in 27 years. No pressure.

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