Welcome to a new series we have at Dodgers Nation where we open up the stage to passionate fans, such as yourselves. Some times, there are just not enough characters in Twitter or that instagram pic needs more than the thousand words to convey your passion.
This week, we received a contribution from Tony Sarsam, who is a season ticket holder and life long Dodger fan. For those who would like to contribute to this, please visit our contact us page with your idea and contact information:
Dave Roberts, sticking tenaciously to his @LittleLeague Tee Ball rules, has used every bench player by the end of the 10th. Apparently never occurred to him that a 5-5 game could go to the 11th.#RobertsMustGo@DodgersNation @DodgerInsider @Dodgers @Pantone294 pic.twitter.com/o7gH3Bs0Fx
— Tony Sarsam (@TonySarsam) May 9, 2018
Dear Dodgers Nation,
Things are bad…
Frankly, things were getting bad last year, but in all the excitement we may have missed the signs.
When we think about outcomes, and the relationship to strategy, it is easy to confuse the two. You have likely heard many sports “analysts” praise the most obtuse tactics simply because the overall outcome was a “W.” Managers charged with leading teams get a pass on flawed practices when they win.
Good managers with good teams win a lot. Bad managers with bad teams lose a lot. Good managers with bad teams may beat expectations, but no one cares. And that leaves the most bedeviling combination in all sports; good teams with bad managers.
And that brings me to Dave Roberts.
Roberts may eventually become a decent manager (I personally do not believe that is likely for Don Mattingly). But Roberts has demonstrated bad judgment quite consistently in his time as the Dodgers manager…which earns him the (at least temporary) title of Bad Manager.
In the last 75 regular season games, Roberts has led one of the most talented teams in baseball to a record of 29-46. That is the equivalent on a full-year basis of losing 100 games. MLB baseball managers are paid ok (top managers earn around $5 million/year) and there are many who are eager to replace them. I am a big believer in rigorous accountability for leaders, especially ones so handsomely paid. Thus I am comfortable declaring that Dave Roberts must go.
His defenders might point to his overall record last year, but I would point to his most active meddling period in the last third of the season, in which he went 1-17 at one stretch. They may point to recent injuries, but I would point to the fact that over most of this period the Dodgers were quite healthy. They may point to bold moves last spring when Taylor, Bellinger and Wood began to shine. I would point to the fact that Roberts had none of these three on his roster until one of his poorer choices for opening day got hurt (the technical term for that strategy is “luck”).
But alas it is Roberts’ whimsy with the bullpen that has solidified his title of Bad Manager. He loses games by taking starting pitchers out after 75 pitches, so struggling middle relievers can seal the Dodgers’ fate. He has clung to the tired lefty/righty mythology such that he frequently missed opportunities to pitch (then Dodgers, now Cubs phenom) RHP Brandon Morrow against LH hitters, even though he was statistically the best in baseball versus lefties much of last year.
Most painful was last year’s World Series. The lucid management of starting pitchers and relievers would have left the Dodgers with wins in at least 6 games (thus, a 4-1 championship). We watched the worst of these follies in game seven…licked our wounds…and said we’ll get ‘em next year.
It’s next year. We ain’t getting ‘em. And the reason is mostly the same. Roberts is a bad manager with a good team. It is time for him to go.