Why are the Dodgers taking so long to extend Dave Roberts?

Thomas Carannante
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Manager Dave Roberts #30 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after first base umpire Ed Hickox #15 made the call on a no-swing for a walk to Darin Ruf of the San Francisco Giants to tie the game 3-3 in the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium on July 22, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Manager Dave Roberts #30 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after first base umpire Ed Hickox #15 made the call on a no-swing for a walk to Darin Ruf of the San Francisco Giants to tie the game 3-3 in the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium on July 22, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /
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Any topic focusing on manager Dave Roberts is typically a contentious one for Los Angeles Dodgers fans. Like Kenley Jansen, any misstep by Roberts draws a shocking amount of ire from the fan base despite the great success he’s had during his tenure in Los Angeles.

Back in 2018, the Dodgers signed their skipper to a four-year extension through the 2022 season after his three promising campaigns that resulted in one trip to the NLCS (2016) and two to the World Series (2017, 2018).

Heading into the 2019 season, Roberts had a $1.1 million team option that ended up getting scrapped in favor of his new deal. Now, heading into 2022, Roberts has no protection beyond next season, which is a bit puzzling because the Dodgers have only failed to get past the NLDS once during his six-year tenure.

And now that we know teams and coaches can work out contracts during the lockout, we’re wondering why Roberts has yet to be extended after taking a hobbled Dodgers squad two games from a World Series berth in 2021.

Where’s Dodgers manager Dave Roberts’ contract extension?

President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman echoed that Roberts will be a part of the team’s future and Roberts said he’s managing the club in 2022 whether or not he gets an extension.

But what’s the wait? Roberts has the highest regular season winning percentage (.622) in franchise history among those who have managed the team for four years or more and he’s quickly climbed the ranks in regard to playoff success.

This is a guy who seems to be right in line with the front office’s philosophy and vision. Why wasn’t this one of the Dodgers’ first orders of business if they knew they weren’t going to be active in free agency or on the trade market before the lockout … especially when it’s clear there are no better skippers available at the moment or in the not-too-distant future?

Some fans might take issue with Roberts’ managerial style, but many also forget that a good portion of his instruction comes from above, which has made this partnership fruitful since the 2016 season. And you mean to tell us you don’t agree with the Dodgers’ front office?

We’re not entirely sure what a contract would look like here, but money is never an issue for this organization, and it’s hard to see the front office deviating from its vision after all the success it has brought for the past six years. You could argue there’s about to be a big personnel change after the 2022 season, but even if that’s the case, why wouldn’t Roberts’ presence not be viewed as symbol of stability and consistency?

It’s never easy to replace a voice players listen to and respect. If and when Roberts departs, Dodgers fans might actually appreciate his contributions more than they could’ve ever imagined.

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