Dodgers Roundtable: Roberts or Mattingly?

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February 25, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts (30) claps outside the batting cage during a spring training workout at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
February 25, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts (30) claps outside the batting cage during a spring training workout at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /
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As we continue on our roundtable series, the Dodgers’ Way staff gave their opinion on Dave Roberts replacing Don Mattingly.

Alex

I think Don Mattingly got blamed for a lot and didn’t get enough credit for keeping the team from killing each other. At the same time, it was definitely time for a change. I probably would have preferred the change to come a year earlier if the Dodgers had a chance at Joe Maddon, but we don’t know if they did or didn’t.

Roberts’ energy seems infectious. Watching him speak at fanfest and the introductory press conference stream, I found myself just smiling and I couldn’t tell you why. We still don’t know about him as a tactician and how he will manage the lineup, but everyone has had only good things to say about him. His “coffee with doc” meeting sessions during spring training seems like he’s trying to stress communication and be very open, which should be beneficial for all parties.

Amanda

Alright let’s be totally real, I was never a Donnie fan. I will openly admit that I was that fan at home or at games that whole-heartedly believed she could manage better at times. His lack of small ball drove me insane. You win ballgames by getting on base. I think he was good when it came to managing personalities and having the players like him, but coming from an American League background, I think he lacked a lot when it came to managing in the National League. All that being said, I am thrilled to have Dave Roberts as the new manager. I think he will bring a whole new feel and perspective to the club. I like that he is younger and everyone who knows him absolutely loves him. From the sounds of it so far, he is trying to make personal connections with each player. I am excited to see how his style of management affects the team.

Daniel

To be honest, when I heard the glowing reports out of the Marlins’ camp a few days ago I really did question it a little. However, I think it’s fair to say that Mattingly struggled to keep the clubhouse in check at times and I personally hated the way he managed the bullpen. I think Donnie is a solid manager but for a big-market club with World Series aspirations, solid isn’t enough. One thing is for sure, with Mattingly gone, I won’t miss ‘bullpen games’ or the ridiculous amount of double switches he used to employ.

I think Roberts is a very calming presence which will be important in a clubhouse that appears to have some friction at times. Hopefully, it will also help Yasiel Puig tap into his tremendous potential. So with that being said, as long as he manages the Bullpen better than Mattingly did, I think Roberts is going to be the superior manager.

Chris

This may be a little bit of a shock, but I had no problem with Don Mattingly as a manager. Aside from a few in-game managing mistakes, he’s generally credited with keeping a volatile clubhouse together and managing some difficult personalities. The three straight division titles also seem to be easily forgotten. So all in all, I wish him good luck in Miami against everyone except the Dodgers.

Feb 21, 2016; Jupiter, FL, USA; Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly (8) watches as pitchers work drills at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 21, 2016; Jupiter, FL, USA; Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly (8) watches as pitchers work drills at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

That being said, I’m excited to see what Dave Roberts can do as manager. His energy is infectious and nobody seems to have a bad thing to say about the guy. With some legendary people skills and experience working as San Diego’s bench coach under Bud Black, Roberts can definitely have a positive effect on the Dodgers and their wave of young talent.

Aamer

I liked Don Mattingly and his quiet, unflappable demeanor. In fact, on those somewhat rare occasions when he would leave the dugout to “have words” with the umpire, it always seemed like he was trying to put on a show to prove that he could get as jacked up as the next guy. I appreciated that and I felt like he was a steadying presence for the team. I think that the front office probably would have kept him around for another year, but Donnie just didn’t want to go through the season without the security of a long-term contract. I get that. But as sad as I am to see Mattingly go, I’m excited to see what Dave Roberts brings to the table. Where Donnie was calm and relaxed, Roberts seems much more amped up and animated. Maybe that’s what the team needs. So, while I would have rather kept Mattingly around, I’m glad they chose someone like Dave Roberts who might shake things up a little bit.

Andrew

When the 2015 NLDS started, I believe that everyone was thinking the same thing when it came to Don Mattingly. “If he does not get this done, he is done.” Mattingly was a very successful manager in the regular season, having a career winning percentage of 55%, which is the second highest percentage of any manager in Dodgers history. Mattingly’s struggles were defined not by his regular season success, but by his postseason struggles. Moving on from Mattingly, the Dodgers surprised everyone by hiring former outfielder and San Diego Padres bench manager, Dave Roberts. Just a few days into Spring Training, we are already starting to see the impact Roberts has on the Dodgers. Roberts is implementing meetings with players to discuss expectations for the upcoming season. Roberts will bring a new culture to the Dodgers, which might just be what they need.

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