After another premature exit in the MLB playoffs, many Los Angeles Dodgers fans wanted to see a change at the manager position. There is a wide array of Dodgers fans who are fed up with Roberts and want to see change even if the options to replace him aren't that great.
Roberts has been at the helm since the 2015 season and has been criticized at every turn. To be fair, Roberts definitely has his fair share of mistakes in big moments, but it's impossible to find a manager who hasn't faltered in a high-stakes spot. None of these managers are perfect, and to expect that is silly.
While Roberts' track record is overwhelmingly positive, he has become one of the most disliked members of the organization by the fans. This unjust hate thrown Roberts' way is a byproduct of the social media age because whether fans like it or not, Roberts is a lot more like the managers they love than the managers they hate.
In fact, the parallels between Roberts and beloved Dodgers legend Tommy Lasorda are uncanny. Lasorda is the most revered member of the Dodgers family, but with how fans have treated Roberts, it is abundantly clear that they would have mistreated Lasorda if social media existed in the 1980s.
Dave Roberts is a lot more like Tommy Lasorda than Dodgers fans want to admit
But Lasorda was so fiery and got the most of his players! Guess what? Baseball is completely different in 2023 than it was in 1983, and there's a reason why we don't see the demanding, old school MLB manager anymore in today's game. It doesn't work.
That's the only characteristic that really sets these two apart because, in the grand scheme of things, Roberts has had a near-identical resume as Lasorda. The playoffs were different back then, so postseason appearances don't factor in. Pennants and World Series rings do. Both managers have the exact same number of Pennants and World Series wins, with both World Series coming in a non-162-game season.
But Lasorda didn't make as many playoff mistakes! Are we sure about that? His bullpen decisions in the 1977 and 1978 World Series weren't perfect. In 1978 specifically, he left Don Sutton in longer than he should have with (Sutton allowed five runs in both of his starts).
But Lasorda would have lit a fire under his offense and not let them no-show like the Dodgers did in 2023! Really? Are we sure? Because in the 1983 NLCS (no NLDS back then), the Dodgers scored four total runs in their three losses. They lost that series three games to one.
But Lasorda didn't have as much talent! Well, that is true offensively, as the 2015-2023 Dodgers have been better. But Lasorda benefitted from elite pitching. In his first eight years of managing, the Dodgers had the best ERA in the entire sport (3.26), which is better than the team's ERA over the last eight years (3.38).
The Dodgers have had a surplus of talent since Roberts took over, that is without question. But to try and pretend like Lasorda was managing a bunch of Joe Schmoes is silly.
This is not meant to be a takedown piece of Tommy Lasorda. He is one of the greatest managers in baseball history and for good reason. Instead, it should open the eyes of fans who blindly call for Roberts to be fired despite all of his success and despite the fact the locker room really seems to respond to him.
Those same fans that blindly call for Roberts' dismissal likely would have called for Lasorda to get fired after the 1984 season as well. And how would have that turned out?