Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Although Dave Roberts has been one of the most successful managers of all-time since being hired by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016, he is also often criticized for his in-game decisions.
While Roberts has definitely made subpar decisions, so has every manager in MLB history. However, what Roberts does better than most managers is arguably the hardest part of the job: being someone the players respect and want to play for.
Roberts has developed a strong reputation as a good communicator and uplifting voice in the clubhouse, which has placed him in high regard throughout the organization.
Because of that, Roberts understands that part of his job is also to protect his players by taking the blame and criticism when necessary, he told Andy McCullough of The Athletic:
Still, he says he has come to understand that “a leader takes the criticism, all that stuff, the blame, to shelter, take care of the people you work alongside of.” He added, “I have no problem taking the heat for decisions in game or things that happen in games that we lose.”
The Dodgers’ skipper is entering the final year of his contract and while negotiations for an extension are yet to be had, the expectation is they will soon begin.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman previously indicated it wouldn’t be an issue if Roberts enters the season as a lame-duck manager, but ideally both sides would like to avoid that.
Roberts also expressed his confidence that a deal will get done to keep him in L.A. past the 2022 season.
Since taking the helm as manager at the start of the 2016 season, Roberts has led the Dodgers to an MLB-best 542-329 record, five NL West titles, three National League pennants and one World Series championship.
Roberts is also fifth all-time in managerial winning percentage, and one of only 10 who has won more than 60% of their games.
Roberts eager for MLB lockout to end
Roberts has not been able to go through his normal routine of connecting with players during this time and said this offseason has been a “different” experience.
Spring Training is likely to be delayed and the start of the season is also in jeopardy as team owners are reportedly willing to cancel games if the Players Association doesn’t drop more of their asks in a new collective bargaining agreement.
Despite that, Roberts remains optimistic that baseball will soon return and he is eager to get back to managing even though he has enjoyed the extra time with his family.
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