Andrew Friedman ‘Surprised’ By Criticism, Calls For Dodgers To Fire Manager Dave Roberts

As the Los Angeles Dodgers were clawing themselves out of a hole and eventually back to the World Series, Dave Roberts was essentially a lame-duck manager. Although his contract was due to expire at season’s end, Roberts and the Dodgers front office maintained a new agreement would be reached.

That finally came to fruition last December when Roberts signed a four-year contract extension. With his future seemingly secured, some uncertainty shifted to Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.

President and CEO Stan Kasten assured Friedman would remain with the team beyond this year, and Friedman confirmed as much during his press conference Monday. “It’s something that I expect to be finalized in the next couple days,” he said. “At this point it’s just finalizing it.”

Friedman’s remarks for his first in the wake of the Dodgers being eliminated from the National League Division Series in their earliest postseason exit since 2015.

After answering a question about his future, Friedman was probed about criticism that has been placed on Roberts’ shoulders for his bullpen management. Despite the increased pressure, a report indicated the Dodgers remained committed to Roberts.

“Frankly, I was surprised by the question,” Friedman said. “This is a team that won 106 games and you look back over the last four years, what we have accomplished, what Dave has accomplished and compare that resume to resumes of others out there … obviously our goal is to win a World Series.

“When the season ends as abruptly as it did — it’s one of the more painful losses that I can remember — the whole thing is focusing on how we get to winning those 11 games in October, and in our mind Dave is absolutely a part of that and is an additive part of doing that.”

While giving Roberts a public vote of confidence, Friedman simultaneously admitted to also being among those who question his in-game decisions. However, it is not from the lens of looking for reason to dismiss Roberts.

“I think one of the great things about sports is everyone has an opinion, including me. I’ll watch games and have questions about things that play out in the game and things that I would have done differently,” Friedman said.

“Again, we won 106 games and I think between Dave Roberts, Rick Honeycutt, Bob Geren, they demonstrated a really strong ability to make in-game moves. They don’t all work out but more often than not, the questions that I have end up playing out in a favorable way.

“When you get into October, things are magnified for obvious reasons. With that brings questions. I think [Roberts] understands that, I totally get that, but by and large, the body of work is really strong.

“I think it’s an area everyone can get better at. There’s things I can get better at, I think there’s things all of us need to evaluate and figure out how we’re going to get better.”

As Roberts looks to help guide the Dodgers to their first World Series win, his regular-season success thus far is largely unparalleled.

This year he became the first manager in MLB history to lead his team to a division title in each of his first four full seasons at the helm. In 2016, Roberts joined Tommy Lasorda (1977) as the only rookie managers in franchise history to guide the Dodgers to a division title.