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Dave Roberts: Is He The Guy?

Ask ten Dodger fans their opinion of Dave Roberts and you will most likely get ten different takes. Some love him, some hate him, some think he is absolutely the wrong guy managing the Dodgers.

Myself, I have mixed feelings about Dave. On one hand, he is a great communicator. As indicated by the fact that he has reassured Miguel Vargas, who many feel needs some more time at AAA to get his head right, that he is part of the plan.

On the other hand, I can point to numerous times when I have felt he was out-managed by the opposition. I do not believe that Roberts is a very good baseball tactician. In WWII, there was little doubt amongst anyone that George Patton was a tactical genius. He could play out battle scenarios in his head before they happened and his planning was pretty flawless.

Roberts is not that kind of manager. Bochy, even though his career winning pct is nowhere close to Roberts, is considered a better tactician. Bochy is in fact under .500 for his career as a manager. But his Rangers may get him above that sometime this season.

Right now Bruce sits 11 games under. The Rangers are surprise leaders in the AL West. Another knock on Roberts is the fact that he has had really good players. So his teams are expected to win and to dominate the division. If the Dodgers do not win the division, it will only be the second time since 2013.

Roberts has had one thing going for him. He has had very talented teams right from the first game he managed. After Mattingly left by mutual agreement after the 2015 season, The front office conducted a pretty intensive search for his replacement. And Roberts was not really the top candidate.

Many felt the job would go to Gabe Kapler. But it was later said that Roberts ACED his interview with LA. Which means, as most successful interviews do, that he said exactly what his future bosses wanted to hear. And he got the job.

They did surround him with experienced coaches. And he kept the current pitching coach, Rick Honeycutt as part of his staff. Bob Geren, a former MLB manager, was brought in as his bench coach.

And like AF loading up on former GM’s in the front office, Dave’s coaches had a ton of experience. That only changed some when Von Scoyoc replaced Turner Ward as the hitting coach.

Now Dodger fans can argue a lot of things, but they cannot argue with the results. Over .600 winning percentage, and division titles in all but one of his seasons at the helm. Granted, he has had the teams with the most depth and talent, and therein lies the rub for most Dodger fans.

With the talent he has had on the field, they believe there should be more than just one Championship, and the fact that it came in the pandemic shortened season is even more fodder for the more irritated fan.

Most feel they were cheated in 2017. Most probably true. In 18, the Sox were clearly the superior team. In ’16, Dave’s team was defeated by a Cubs team that seemed to be a team of destiny. Just like the Red Sox team that finally ended the Curse of the Bambino.

2019, they had a great team. They dominated the NL, but when they came up against DC in the NLDS, their pitching was just a little short against DC’s two aces. But there also were some moves by Roberts in the decisive game 5 that angered most fans, and in some eyes, caused the loss.

The first was sending Kershaw back out for a second inning of relief. The second was not pulling him after he gave up the first homer. Then of course, sending Kelly back out for a second inning of relief himself which ended up disastrous with Kendricks grand slam to win it all.

In 2020 Roberts had few mistakes. And his team was driven to redeem itself. Down 3-1 to the Braves, they made a dramatic comeback. Then went on to finally break the drought by beating the Rays in six.

In 21, they chased the resurgent Giants all year, and still almost caught them. Having to beat the Cardinals in a one game play-in, they won on a dramatic walk off homer by Chris Taylor.

Cody Bellinger made up for a lousy regular season by singling home what turned out to be the winning run in the top of the 9th inning. Max Scherzer then saved it.

But they could not climb out of the 3-1 hole they had to the Braves this time. Even after game 5 when they got 5 bombs from Taylor and Pollock for a huge win. They went to Atlanta and meekly lost game six.

2022 was supposed to be their year. Probably the most talented and deepest Dodger team ever. And they won 111 games, besting by 5, their best win total ever. My take has always been that the five day layoff was the biggest reason they did not beat the Padres. Excuse or not, coming out of that break, the team was flat.

Even though they won the first game at home. The offense just never got going. And all of a sudden, their bullpen gave up vital runs.

Now Roberts is in the midst of perhaps his toughest year as a manager. With all the injuries, new faces in the lineup and inconsistent contributions from a couple of key players, the Dodgers find themselves not playing as well as most thought they might. But do not expect management to fire Dave.

Nope, he is about as safe as any manager might be. But the question will still remain in the minds of most Dodger fans, is he the right guy to win more championships.

 

 

 

 

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OhioDodger

Not if he keeps batting Muncy, a sub .200 hitter in the clean up spot.

Badger

Lineups are overrated.

OhioDodger

Bless your little heart.

Jeff

So are managers.

Dionysus

No. Great guy, elite player’s manager but highly flawed when it comes to pressing the right buttons. Overthinks in the playoffs, like a stockbroker tinkering too much. We should have 3-5 under his tenure. It really really is a new squad forming.

Bluto

Is Bochum admired tactically? I remember giant fans hating his bullpen management towards the end.

Was it tactically genius to ride Baumgartner?

Badger

Yep

Bobby

I don’t think Bochy somehow turned a good regular season pitcher in Bumgarner into a combination of Hershiser, Koufax, and Clemens when it mattered in October.

I don’t think Mattingly or Roberts turned “the greatest pitcher of our generation” in the regular season into an average pitcher come October.

The superstars have to step up when it matters most. Bochy’s guys did that. Roberts’ guys rarely do that.

Badger

Roberts manages this team is it was constructed by management to be managed.

Bottom line for me is it’s the players. I know fans love to talk about what appears to be gaffs. And yep, we’ve all witnessed what didn’t work. But, facts, those pesky facts, and not the alternative ones. Statistically speaking, the best managers are only worth 2-3 WAR.

“You can’t argue results”

No sh*t. This is a results based business. And Roberts is as good as any and better than most in win %.

It’s my opinion that the post season failures are a result of players not coming through in the clutch.

I like Dave Roberts. I think he’s perfect for this organization.

Last edited 11 months ago by Badger
tedraymond

Dave Roberts has frustrated Dodger fans many times in the postseason with decisions that may or may not have cost the team a championship or two. But, I agree it’s the players that have the ultimate impact on the outcome of a game. With the team’s slug mentality over the years there are many times where a sacrifice bunt or fly ball, a just make contact situation, or contact to the opposite field might be necessary. But, the team is not built or encouraged to learn those skills. So in the “have to get a run in any way” situation doesn’t happen. Roberts is terrific with player communication and mouths the company line with the media. Which means he reveals nothing.

Bochy may be good with strategy and player communication, but he doesn’t seem to be one that couple be manipulated by the front office like Roberts. Right now Roberts is the least of the team’s issues.
So, if not Roberts who?

Last edited 11 months ago by tedraymond
Jeff

That is really the question to be asked. Roberts is not my guy, but is there someone that we know who is available that we think is better?

Bumsrap
Badger

Interesting. They don’t pitch off the fastball anymore. Well, some still do. And if you can throw a good one in the upper inside corner (probably won’t get a strike call on it) then the slider down and away becomes a swing and miss pitch.

Andy Messersmith built a career on that pitch. Took Western High, my alma doesn’t mater, to the CIF Championship game with it, he lost, got a full ride to Berkeley with it, pitched one year there, then had a damm good career with it.

I’ve always believed ever pitch is based off the fastball. But then I was taught how to bunt, how to hit behind the runner, how to protect the plate and how to back up bases. Nobody does any of that anymore so wtf do I know?

Bumsrap

I’m sure Koufax has told every pitcher in the Dodger organization about him taking a few mph off his pitchers made him great.

Singing the Blue

For those who think Ohtani is the most exciting player in baseball, I dispute that.

Elly De La Cruz is now the undisputed most exciting player in the game, and he’s barely started his career.

Take a look at what he did to Milwaukee today:

https://www.espn.com/video/clip/_/id/37980891

Bobby

that was insane

Singing the Blue

Bobby, do I remember correctly that you’re of Indian origin?

If so, have you heard about the high school kid Arjun Nimmala who’s considered one of the best high school players in the draft?

Singing the Blue

Correction: wrong link.
This is the correct one:
https://www.espn.com/video/clip/_/id/37980803

nonicnamebumfan

Thanks STB, That kid is unbelievable.

Bobby

I just read an ESPN article about him this week. Sounds like he might be a top 20 pick.

Singing the Blue

That’s what they say. Hope it happens. Seems like a great kid. Maybe we ought to have young kids here start with cricket. Maybe it would make them better hitters.

Bluto

There are a lot of interesting studies about how kids are too focused on single sports.

lots of reasons: resources, scholarship, opportunity.

but, many believe That athletic development is somewhat stunted because of it.

Last edited 11 months ago by Bluto
Fred Vogel

My vote goes to Corbin Carroll, at least for the time being.

Oldbear48

10 homers the last two games. 3 by Mookie, 2 by Freddie and JD and one each by Peralta and Smith. Nice. Grove pitched about as good as he ever has tonight.

Oldbear48

My stance on Roberts is pretty straight forward. I know he is a great communicator. And in a sense, he is a rah rah guy always cheering on his players. He is exactly the kind of manager the ownership wanted. But in my opinion, which counts for bupkis, he does not handle pitching staffs well. Like one poster said, he tends to micromanage come playoff time. He also has a tendency to not have someone be warming up immediately when a late inning reliever gets into trouble. He will sometimes wait until there are 2 men on and no outs. As soon as the first hitter got on base, especially with a one or two run lead, he should have someone backing up the guy on the mound. The bullpen problems this year have been exacerbated by the starters not going deep into games. That needs to change and they definitely need to target pitching help and a RH slugger at the deadline. Thor might be back soon. He threw a three-inning bullpen and was hitting 94 on the gun.

Badger

Can you please explain to me why this team needs a right handed slugger? We are third in MLB in runs scored and OPS. Where would you play this slugger? Taylor is coming back. Maybe he will help.

The bullpen has been a mess but they are looking better. They’ve moved up several spots in the rankings, though admittedly against some not so good teams. We’re 7-3 against those teams. A real test will begin after the break.

Last edited 11 months ago by Badger
Oldbear48

In my opinion, again which doesn’t mean spit, they need a RH hitting outfielder, besides Mookie, with some pop who can at least platoon with Outman or one of the other guys. DeLuca is not ready yet. Just my opinion there little Badger.

Bumsrap

Don’t the Dodgers still struggle against lefty pitchers?
Betts runs hot and cold and Smith is getting more rest these days.

Last edited 11 months ago by Bumsrap
tedraymond

They do indeed Bumsrap. Currently, they are hitting .229 against lefties which is #29 in MLB. Miami leads baseball with a.309 average. And the Atlanta juggernaut is second at .299. Is there any stat that the Braves aren’t near the top? Yet the Dodgers lead baseball in HRs against lefties. Which fits their MO.

I hear on the broadcast the Mookie was hitting .500 in his last 50 AB’s with an OPS of almost 2.000! To be that hot for that many games is insane. He is so fun to watch!!

I say give DeLuca some serious playing time in July and see what he can do. I like his approach at the plate. If he is productive then all trade resources can be used to obtain pitching. And more pitching!!

Carry on.

Last edited 11 months ago by tedraymond
Badger

.229 means nothing Ted. They are OPS’n .793 against LHP. That’s what we look at these days.

A RH slugger to platoon in centerfield? Good luck with that.

I’m clearly in the minority here but I choose to stand my ground. This is a team with grit that is learning how to play well together. The young hitters just need at bats. Outman, Vargas, DeLuca all look like they are eager to learn. Taylor is coming back, the top 4 of our lineup are All Stars, and the team is scoring. We need pitching. When we get it, we will win the West. I got 100 push-ups that says we do.

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