Love him or hate him he’s here to stay. The Dodgers announced that they’ve locked up manager Dave Roberts to a four year contract. They had previously picked up his option year for 2019, so this is essentially a three-year contract extension that will keep the skipper in Dodger blue through the 2022 season.
The Dodgers are the midst of another Andrew Friedman type winter where they’re “rumored” to be in on almost every player under the sun and nothing happens. But the rumors of Roberts getting a long term extension was one rumor I figured to be true. I admit that Roberts is not the greatest of tactiticians or strategists, his strengths lie elsewhere.
To me he seems like a natural leader, and able to control the clubhouse with a steady hand. Don Mattingly couldn’t do that, but all of the players uniformly love Roberts. He’s that kind of manager. Yes he made a ton of bonehead moves in the World Series, but here’s hoping he learned from those in both times the Dodgers have made the fall classic over the last two consecutive seasons.
His accomplishments are nice though. In the four seasons as manager Roberts had won four NL West division titles and guided the Dodgers to consecutive National League pennants. The Dodgers have also made three consecutive NLCS appearances as well. Roberts won the manager of the year in his first season at the helm in 2016.
Talk amongst yourselves about this. I’m sure there will be plenty of opinions on this. Here’s the Dodgers official press release below.
The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced that Dave Roberts has agreed to a four-year contract to manage club through 2022. The announcement was made by Dodger President, Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman.
“Keeping Doc as our leader on the field was a top priority this offseason and now that we’ve accomplished that we are excited to collectively shift all of our focus to doing all we can to bring a World Championship to our passionate fans,” said Friedman.
Roberts, 46, has piloted the Dodgers since 2016, leading the club to three consecutive National League West division titles and back-to-back NL pennants in 2017 and 2018. Following his first season managing the Dodgers in 2016, he was named the National League Manager of the Year and last year became the first Dodger skipper to lead the club to the World Series in consecutive seasons since Tommy Lasorda in 1977 and ’78. In 2017, the club won 104 games, tying the franchise record for victories in a season. Since joining Los Angeles, Roberts is 287-200 (.589) overall and his 287 wins are tied for the fourth most all-time among skippers in their first three full seasons. He is also the first Los Angeles Dodger manager to lead the club to the Postseason in each of his first three years.
“When I was hired to lead this team three years ago, I said at the time that managing the Dodgers is truly the opportunity of a lifetime and I feel the exact same way today,” said Roberts. “We’ve worked hard to develop a team and culture that will put us in position to win the World Series every season, but we still have yet to achieve our ultimate goal and that is what drives me each day. I want to thank Andrew, Stan Kasten and our outstanding ownership group for believing in me and keeping me in Dodger Blue, a uniform I’m so proud to wear.”
Roberts, who is of African-American and Japanese descent, became the Dodgers’ first-ever minority manager and the 10th manager in L.A. history on Nov. 23, 2015. He is the fourth L.A. Dodger manager to play and manage for the franchise, joining Tommy Lasorda, Bill Russell and Glenn Hoffman. As a player, Roberts was the Dodgers’ starting center fielder from 2002-04, but is best known for his dramatic steal of second base in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS for the Red Sox against the Yankees, which ignited Boston’s historic comeback from a 3-0 series deficit.
Roberts grew up in the San Diego area and graduated from UCLA, where he played baseball from 1991-94 and became the Bruins’ all-time stolen bases leader (109). He and his wife, Tricia live in Southern California with their son, Cole, and daughter, Emmerson.