Should Dodgers fans forgive manager Dave Roberts for his many foibles now that he’s won a championship?
After years of knocking on the door, the Los Angeles Dodgers finally got over the playoff hump and won their first World Series title since 1988 this season. It was a colossal triumph for the franchise, which might’ve been in for a significant overhaul — on both the roster and coaching staff — had they come up short against the budget-constricted Tampa Bay Rays.
While there’s no telling who would have been jettisoned, there’s reason to believe the Dodgers’ front office would’ve blown up their core of stars (to an extent, at least losing Justin Turner and Kiké Hernández) and make sweeping changes on the coaching front.
Fifth-year manager Dave Roberts almost certainly would’ve been canned, but now that he’s a champion, it’s reasonable to assume that his job security is safe. While he’s widely regarded as one of the most wholesome individuals in the sport, his tendency to micro-manage in the postseason has seen him establish a polarizing reputation among Dodgers fans.
Well, with the proverbial championship monkey finally off his back, the following question must be asked: Does Roberts deserve to be forgiven for his past playoff blunders? Do the ends justify your meanness?
Essentially, fans have to ask themselves if winning one World Series was worth years of questionable managerial decision-making and an exhausting magnitude of stress.
Winning is widely regarded as the ultimate antidote, so we would say yes as long as he notches another one or two championships — which isn’t an impossible demand given the talent up and down this roster — across the duration of his tenure.
In a vacuum, Roberts probably deserves to be forgiven by Dodgers fans. After all, he’s taken the club to the playoffs in each of his five seasons at the helm, helping extend their streak of eight consecutive NL West titles. He’s also been to three World Series, falling short twice in as many years to the likes of Houston (2017) and Boston (2018).
Roberts has received his fair share of criticism along the way. In fact, he was booed in Game 5 by the Dodger-dominated crowd at Globe Life Field against the Rays when he took dealing ace Clayton Kershaw out after 5.1 innings and a low pitch count. He did the same thing in Game 1 and proceeded to use four relievers (!) in a blowout.
If those moves comes back to haunt LA, who knows how the rest of the series pans out? Sure, that’s a huge hypothetical, but you have to think that the Dodgers’ ceiling will always be limited given Roberts’ tendency to overthink situations.
The 48-year-old skipper likely deserves your forgiveness, but in doing so, don’t get carried away and forget that he’s cost the Dodgers dearly in the playoffs in years past, because it’s almost guaranteed to happen again at some point in the future.