Don't count out Dave Roberts' Dodgers for 2023, but maybe don't pencil them in for a World Series guarantee, either.
That didn't go so great last time around, even though it seemed like the skipper's confident prediction might come to fruition after a ridiculous 111-win regular season.
Last year, when Roberts was called upon by Dan Patrick to answer the question, "The Dodgers win the World Series if..." he responded with the unforced error, "...there is a full season and there is a postseason. We are winning the World Series in 2022." That's right. He was given an open doorway and he plowed through it with a two-by-four, guaranteeing a title unprompted.
It goes without saying that the Padres ate that up like catnip, dethroning the Dodgers in four games in the NLDS and celebrating on their turf for what felt like the first time in franchise history.
This time around, appearing on the very same show (in the immediate aftermath of learning that presumptive starting shortstop Gavin Lux would miss the season), Roberts opted for a different path.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts loves his team, won't predict World Series win again
Kudos to Patrick for leaving a live 2023 version of Roberts up on the screen reacting to his 2022 boast. He looked extremely uncomfortable the entire time before asking why Patrick didn't include his "caveat," which came later in the clip, regarding the health of their starting staff. Of course, that would mean Walker Buehler's injury reversed his prediction altogether.
You know why, Skip. Makes for better TV.
Given the chance to do it again this season, Roberts pivoted a bit. "I still believe that [we're going to win the World Series in 2023. I really do," he said this time, "and I don't think there's a manager who has a competitive team who doesn't feel that way."
Both Roberts and Patrick then agreed that they didn't necessarily have an issue with what transpired last year, but it seems like the Dodgers manager displayed slightly better awareness in tempering his own enthusiasm. Perhaps, unlike 2022, this could be LA's year, as long as they're able to sort out the outfield platoons, the shortstop situation, the back of the rotation, the bullpen ... yeah, maybe better to lay low this time around.