It has been reported that the Los Angeles Dodgers have hired Dave Roberts to be their new manager. A formal announcement is expected to be made after Thanksgiving.
Details of Roberts’ contract still need to be worked out. In light of what happened in DC with Bud Black, one might inclined to write with any certainty that the Dodgers have definitively hired Roberts. But assuming there are no “today Bud Black is manager, now Dusty Baker is manager” scenarioes in L.A., it would mean that Roberts beat out Gabe Kapler for the position. Kapler is currently the Dodgers’ Director of Player Development. Interestingly, Roberts and Kapler were teammates on the 2004 World Series champion Boston Red Sox.
Roberts, of course, is best known for what is simply known in these parts as “The Steal”. As Bob Ryan wrote for The Boston Globe in 2005, “As long as baseball is played in Boston, Dave Roberts will be remembered.” Pinch running for Kevin Millar in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS, Roberts stole second off Mariano Rivera and then scored the tying run on a single by Bill Mueller. This would begin the Red Sox astounding come back down 0-3 against the New York Yankees in the ALCS. Ironically, the Red Sox acquired Roberts from the Dodgers at the trade deadline. With the Dodgers, he had been an everyday player. But once he got to Boston, Roberts became a role player. Yet he accepted it graciously. It is undisputably the highlight of a ten year MLB career in addition to stints with the Red Sox and Dodgers also included time with the Cleveland Indians, San Francisco Giants and the San Diego Padres.
After his playing career, Roberts joined the Padres’ front office in 2010 before becoming part of the team’s coaching staff in 2011. Roberts would have a scare in 2010 after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but has made a full recovery. This past season, Roberts would manage one game for the Padres following the dismissal of Bud Black. The Padres would opt to name Pat Murphy the team’s interim manager rather than stick with Roberts for the rest of the season.
Roberts has enormous pressure put on shoulders. With the highest payroll in MLB, anything short of winning the World Series would be unacceptable. But I think Roberts has just the right temperament for the job. He is well respected by the players and can handle the media. If Roberts could handle Boston down 0-3 to the Yankees then he can handle L.A.
Should Roberts bring the Dodgers a World Series title, it could be said that as long as baseball is played in Los Angeles, Dave Roberts will be remembered.”