Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Who is Dave Roberts? What Does He Know? Does He Know Things? Let's Find Out!
The Los Angeles Dodgers officially named Dave Roberts the next manager for the team yesterday after a couple of rounds of interviews. Gabe Kapler was rumored to be the favorite for the job earlier this month which would've made this redditor, who predicted it way before rumors surfaced Kapler was a front runner, the next baseball Nostradamus. Roberts becomes the first minority manager in the team's history and only the second active minority manager in baseball following the Nationals' signing of Dusty Baker.
Dodgers President and CEO, Stan Kasten, was interviewed today on MLB Network Radio and provided a bit of insight as to what made Roberts the prime candidate for the job. Kasten mentions that most of the work in the hiring process was done by Andrew Friedman, Farhan Zaidi, and Josh Byrnes and that the search included many names that weren't even written about by media. He cites that the decision was a collective one by the owner's group but that the man with the most weight behind who was best was Andrew Friedman. Kasten goes on to say they praised Roberts for "his high integrity, his high character, positive high energy, high work ethic." The Dodgers clearly wanted a manager who could get them high and it seems like Roberts matched what they were looking for out of every available candidate.
Dave Roberts has not managed before but many view work as a bench coach (a position Roberts has maintained with the Padres for the past two years) as being the next closest position experience-wise. Many were taken aback by Gabe Kapler being the favorite pick as his only managerial experience came with managing the low A minor league affiliate of the Red Sox for one season and Roberts may ease those worries with more experience with authority in a dugout. Roberts also spent a lot of his time in the NL West playing for the Giants (under Bruce Bochy no less), the Dodgers, and even the Padres as well. Unlike the Padres, he comes to a ball club with expectations of making the World Series or many will consider the season a bust. The choice at least seems popular with the current team with Adrian Gonzalez giving him a glowing endorsement having played with Roberts before with the Padres. Gonzalez even went as far as saying, "He's probably the best human being I've ever met." Gonzalez, known as a clubhouse leader, has a lot of clout in that Dodgers dugout and if Roberts can win over the clubhouse then he'll be just fine. What will separate him from Mattingly (who also had no trouble winning over the clubhouse) will only be determined when the season kicks into gear.