Dodgers: Dave Roberts is Ideal to Lead the 2018 Dodgers
By Evan Shin
2018 was cut out to be a tough season for the Dodgers. Now after a 5-9 start, it looks even tougher than planned. But the Dodgers have the right man at the helm to guide them to another successful season.
It’s tough coming back to play 162 games empty handed especially when you were one game away from winning it all. It’s even tougher knowing how the season has gone so far. Your best hitter goes down days before the season, the entire teams is not clicking at the same time, and breaks just don’t seem to be going your way. Many are looking for signs of the 2017 Dodgers to wake up, but that’s not the right mindset and not the Dave Roberts way.
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As amazing (and I mean amazing) as the 2017 season was, it was still unsuccessful in terms of bringing a championship back to L.A. Now there are still elements of that team that should be brought back, but this is a new season, new team.
So what does the 2018 Dodgers team look like? A key element in 2017 was the come back wins. If the Dodgers were within five runs, there was a good chance they’d come back. Not quite this year. They’ve come close several times but haven’t been able to seal the deal. The comeback win may be the factor that turns their fortunes around.
How do they do that? That’s where Dave Roberts comes in. Since Roberts took over the Dodgers, have visibly had a strong one thing at a time mentality. Win each pitch, at-bat, game, etc. The Dodgers now seem caught somewhere between the World Series last year and October this year. The regular season almost seems like a formality that is actually killing them at the same time. Rather than linger or look onward, it’s time to put the nose to the grindstone and start building the habit of pouring everything into winning the game they are playing at that moment.
Of course, it’s not that they’re trying. In fact, it seems like some of them are trying too hard to find that rhythm that won 104 games a year before. Roberts comes in again. Yes, the intensity and focus is there, but so is an overall looseness in the clubhouse. Perhaps it is that one thing at a time mentality. He also does a great job of splitting up the playing time that simultaneously gives them the best matchups for that particular game or inning, and gives shots to everyone to crack this code of a bad start.
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Right now the Dodgers are just not on the same page, and the breaks aren’t going in favor of them. It’s difficult to maintain a positive focus, but Roberts needs and will take control of the team focus and sooner or later the breaks will come, and a newer, stronger 2018 Dodgers will emerge.