Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
As the son of a Japanese mother and African-American father, Dave Roberts made history when he was hired as Los Angeles Dodgers manager in 2015.
Roberts’ father, Waymon, was a United States Marine stationed stationed overseas, and his mother, Eiko, was born and raised in Japan.
Roberts was born in Naha, Okinawa, Japan, and being the first Black manager in Dodgers franchise history is an accomplishment he does not take likely. In 2017, Roberts became the first manager of Asian heritage to lead a team to the World Series, and the second African-American skipper to achieve the eat.
With Team USA and Japan playing in the 2023 World Baseball Classic championship game, it’s put Roberts in a small bind. According to Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, the eight-year Dodgers manager is rooting for the United States:
“I’m pulling for the U.S.,” Dave Roberts said of tonight’s WBC final. “Sorry mom.”
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) March 21, 2023
The United States are defending WBC champions and overcame inconsistent performances in pool play to advance in this year’s tournament. They then defeated Team Venezuela, who had been undefeated, and steamrolled Cuba in the semifinal.
Meanwhile, Japan has put together an impressive WBC showing that includes a dramatic comeback win against Team Mexico to set the stage for a highly-anticipated clash with the U.S.
Roberts siding with Team USA in the championship game additionally lends support to his Dodgers players, Mookie Betts and Will Smith.
Dave Roberts reflects on Cody Bellinger
Roberts and the Dodgers have enjoyed plenty of success during his managerial tenure, but there has also been heartbreak and various shortcomings.
Among those is Cody Bellinger regressing from once appearing to be a perennial All-Star and National League MVP candidate. Ahead of the Dodgers facing Bellinger for the first time since he signed with the Chicago Cubs, Roberts expressed some regret over the team not being able to do more to help him.
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