Dodgers: Dave Roberts wants Justin Turner to be manager someday
Who will be the next manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers? Dave Roberts thinks it should be third baseman Justin Turner.
Whenever Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts leaves the franchise, whether on his own accord, or someone else’s, he would like to see third baseman Justin Turner take over the reins in the dugout.
Turner revealed on a recent Off Air podcast with Joe Davis and Orel Hershiser that Roberts is constantly telling him that he should become Dodgers manager when his playing days are over.
"“Your weekly special guest [Dave Roberts] tells me all the time, ‘Hey man, when I’m done managing this team, I want you to take over,”‘ Turner said. “So that’s a lot of pressure.”"
Roberts joined the same podcast and reiterated that he would love to see Turner transition into the managing role whenever his own time with the Dodgers is up.
"“I can write a script, whether it really comes to pass, obviously, that is not my decision,” Roberts said. “I don’t know how long I’m going to have the luxury, the opportunity to do this. But I think somebody who understands the Dodger organization, the history, appreciates it, is from Southern California, played for the Dodgers, is forward thinking, but a grinder that fans can associate with, and just connects with media, he can manage above, I think he will connect with the players. So, yeah, for me, I joke with [Turner] all of the time. Not that I’m trying to shorten his career by any means. But I do think, for me, I would like to see that transition. That would be amazing.”"
Dave Roberts might be the most scrutinized, successful manager in baseball history. In four years with the Dodgers, he has won over 60 percent of the games he has managed (393-256). He has won four division titles, two National League pennants, and led the Dodgers to two of their best regular seasons in franchise history, winning 104 games in 2017 (3rd most wins in team history) and 106 games in 2019 (most ever).
While there were some calls to replace Roberts after a disappointing loss to the eventual World Series champion Washington Nationals last season, he is back in the dugout (well, eventually he will be) for the 2020 season. His contract runs through 2022.
Turner is set to become a free agent after this season. Despite ideas on how he should spend his post-playing days, the charitable infielder has no plans of hanging up the cleats anytime soon.
"“I would love to play as long as someone wants me,” Turner told Joe and Orel in the same podcast he revealed Roberts’ future plans for him."
It’s unclear whether the Long Beach native will sign another contract with the Dodgers. The Los Angeles Times recently reported there has been no progress on extension talks. Of course, all transactions are frozen during the coronavirus shutdown.
Turner went from a bench player to a key contributor on the National League’s premier franchise. He hit .290/.372/.509 last season with 27 home runs, which ties a career best. The 35-year-old has regressed a bit in the field, but he clearly has plenty of hits remaining in his bat. And perhaps a future as a manager.