Dave Roberts (roberda07)

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David Ray Roberts

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Biographical Information[edit]

Dave Roberts played for Team USA in the 1999 Pan American Games. The club's leadoff hitter, he hit .308 and stole four bases, the most in the competition.

He is known for what is arguably the most important stolen base in Boston Red Sox history. In Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS, with Boston down to the New York Yankees three games to none and trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the 9th inning, he came in as a pinch runner for Kevin Millar, who had drawn a lead-off walk against Mariano Rivera. He immediately stole second base, then came in to score on Bill Mueller's single to tie the game. Boston went on to win the game in extra innings. That kicked off the Red Sox's incredible comeback that sent them to their first World Series title since 1918.

After his retirement as a player, Roberts worked for the San Diego Padres in their baseball operations department. In May 2010, it was announced that he was suffering from Hodgkin's lymphoma and would need to undergo chemotherapy. He defeated the cancer, as subsequent tests conducted a year later showed no return of the condition. He then became a coach for the Padres in 2011. He served as the Padres first base coach from 2011 to 2013. He moved up to bench coach in 2014 and started the 2015 in the same role. On June 15th of that year he was named interim manager, replacing Bud Black. After the Padres lost that day's game, he was replaced by Pat Murphy, who was managing the El Paso Chihuahuas, San Diego's AA affiliate in the Pacific Coast League, and he returned to his bench coach duties for the rest of the season.

After the season, he was one of a large number of candidates identified as a potential successor for Don Mattingly as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was considered an outsider, given his lack of managerial experience, but he impressed during the interview stage and was the surprise winner of the competition on November 23rd, getting the job for the 2016 season. The Dodgers were confident in his ability to get the most out of talented but underperforming budding stars like Yasiel Puig and Joc Pederson to complements their slew of highly-paid superstars. The Dodgers, and especially President Andrew Friedman, were also impressed by his knowledge of analytics and his front office experience, a marked contrast with old-school predecessor Mattingly. Also working in his favor was the fact he had played for the Dodgers and had been a star at UCLA.

Roberts had an very auspicious debut as a full-time manager, as the Dodgers won their first three games of 2016, all by shutout. In his fourth game, on April 8th, he was faced with a tough decision, as his starting pitcher, Ross Stripling was making his major league debut, and was pitching a no-hit shutout when he reached his pitch count limit of 100 after walking Angel Pagan of the San Francisco Giants with one out in the 8th. Roberts decided to replace him with reliever Chris Hatcher, denying him a shot at history, and Hatcher quickly surrendered a two-run homer to Trevor Brown. Dave's managerial opponent that day, Bruce Bochy, told the press he would have made the same decision had he been in his position. He was placed in a similar position on September 10th, when Rich Hill started off a game against the Miami Marlins with seven perfect innings. He had only needed 89 pitches to go that far, but Roberts was concerned over Hill's previous struggles with blister problems and decided to pull him in favor of Joe Blanton, who gave up a hit with two outs in the 8th. The Dodger won handily, 5-0, but Roberts told the media it was one of the hardest decisions he had ever had to make: "This is probably the worst I've felt after a win," he told reporters. The Dodgers finished in first place in the NL West, and Roberts led them to a win over the Washington Nationals in the NLDS before they fell to the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS. After the season, he was rewarded for the team's excellent showing by being named the winner of the NL's Manager of the Year Award.

"Maury Wills once told me that there will come a point in my career when everyone in the ballpark will know that I have to steal a base, and I will steal that base. When I got out there, I knew that was what Maury Wills was talking about." -Dave Roberts

Notable Achievements[edit]

Preceded by
Don Mattingly
Los Angeles Dodgers Manager
Succeeded by

Year-By-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
2015 San Diego Padres National League 0-1 -- San Diego Padres interim between Bud Black (32-33) and Pat Murphy on June 15
2016 Los Angeles Dodgers National League 91-71 1st Los Angeles Dodgers Lost NLCS
2017 Los Angeles Dodgers National League Los Angeles Dodgers

Further Reading[edit]

  • Mike Bauman: "Unconventional Roberts makes the right calls", mlb.com, October 14, 2016. [1]
  • Ken Gurnick: "'Full circle' for Roberts as Dodgers manager", mlb.com, December 1, 2015. [2]
  • Ken Gurnick: "Roberts named NL Manager of the Year", mlb.com, November 15, 2016. [3]
  • Richard Justice: "Roberts earning Dodgers' respect: New manager key to leading club to next level", mlb.com, February 25, 2016. [4]
  • Gabe Lacques: "Dave Roberts will be hired as new Los Angeles Dodgers manager", USA Today Sports, November 22, 2015. [5]
  • Jorge L. Ortiz: "As Dodgers manager, Dave Roberts' task is clear: World Series or bust", USA Today Sports, November 23, 2015. [6]
  • Jorge L. Ortiz: "Dodgers' Dave Roberts voted NL manager of the year", USA Today Sports, November 15, 2016. [7]

Related Sites[edit]