Dave Roberts is a hot topic for the Dodgers’ fans after botching game five. Despite that he will be kept and it shouldn’t even be a question.
First off, lets get this out of the way for the Dodgers. Dave Roberts botched game five. He went against the data, forced the issue of getting Clayton Kershaw into the game and it came back to bite him, and help end the Dodgers’ season. Despite that frustrating game that was Roberts’ worst game so far, the Dodgers are letting him return which is the right move.
While that report is according to “two sources in the know”, the Dodgers do not need to officially make an announcement as Roberts is under contract. Whenever Andrew Friedman makes his end of the season press conference he will likely be asked about this. According to the report, Roberts’ job was never in question and it shouldn’t have been.
When you come up short enough times, naturally, fans and often times teams decide to part ways with their manager. After all, it’s much easier to replace a few coaches than it is to get rid of players who are not performing. Especially when those players not performing are very talented which is the case for the Dodgers.
Game five was awful for Roberts but the series was far from perfect for LA. The Dodgers hit .135 with runners in scoring position in the NLDS. The only teams to hit worse with RISP in the division series were the Braves and Twins who are both in the same position. Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager combined to drive in 0 runs for the Dodgers.
This wasn’t 2017 where the Dodgers blew two leads in the World Series behind Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen. This wasn’t 2018 where the Red Sox silenced the Dodger offense and rocked Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu.
The Dodgers were in every game this series and sans game five, the offense had chances to win the other two games they lost, especially game two where the Nationals put the winning runs on base for the Dodgers. The lineup failed to come through as they did most of the series with runners in scoring position.
The Dodgers had another manager that lost two World Series in a row, including a blown 2-0 series lead in the second one. They wound up winning the World Series three years later and now that manager is regarded as a hall of famer and one of the best Dodger managers ever. That man is Tommy Lasorda.
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As they were with Lasorda, the Dodgers just need to be patient with Roberts. He is a great leader and the shortcomings of the previous two seasons were mostly due to poor performance by Dodger stars, as it was in the NLDS. Dave Roberts is a great leader and the Dodgers play hard for him which is evident by making back to back World Series appearances.
The postseason is a crapshoot in baseball and making it to one World Series is tough enough, let alone two in a row. Managers all make mistakes and Roberts is no different. There was a time when fans were clamoring for Don Mattingly to replace Joe Torre. So be careful what you wish for.
The Dodgers have a great manager in Dave Roberts and if the team cannot win a World Series with him at the helm then I am not sure who is out there that they can. Roberts would have teams calling him as soon as he left his office door if the Dodgers had let him go.
Luckily the Dodgers have one of the best front offices in baseball and barring Andrew Friedman making a surprise move to another club, Roberts will be back, as he should be. This team has a great leader now they just need to perform for him when it matters most.