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Dodgers: An Open and Honest Letter to Dave Roberts



 

Dear Dave Roberts,

 

Look, things just aren’t working out right now. I understand that it’s not directly your fault — you’re not out there playing the games — but also running the same players out there in the same order so very often… it just needs to change.


You know, it’s disheartening for a fan to hear an “idk” answer from the team’s manager, but honestly, I get it. I don’t know either.

 

It’s time for you to make a change

 

Let’s work out some things… Yes, you/we got lucky last year with a breakout from CT3, but we’re at a point where a ~.290 on-base percentage isn’t going to cut it at leadoff. Please, for the love of all that is holy, please drop him to 7 or 8 and let him figure himself out.

Belli ain’t right right now, not at all. Take the pressure off. Give him a different view of the game. Bat him leadoff A game or two, give him some starts in the outfield. Make it fun for him, and give him a challenge outside of being the de facto run producer. He’s hurting.

Side note, did you know that he’s batting .216 with 12 Ks since the great #BellBenching of 2018? I understand the intent behind the move, and I’m not looking to directly question your motives, but was it the best time or move to spark the player or the clubhouse?

 

That clubhouse

 

No one can blame you for the struggle of losing your number three batter, and a clubhouse force like Justin Turner; also I feel that the loss of Adrian Gonzalez is much deeper than just homeruns and pop ups… you’re without real clubhouse generals and it seems like maybe things are getting out of hand for you.

Step outside of the comfort zone of familiarity, heck even go get yourself kicked out of a ballgame defending your batters against bad balls and strikes calls.

Just change it up; blow the dang thing up, pop open five Red Bulls and stay up all night to work on something completely outside the bun, because this ain’t working no more.

Don’t worry about us, we’re Dodgers’ fans, we’ll be at the park almost every game either way, but help give us something to cheer about.

 

Sincerely, and with love,

Concerned.

Editor’s note: this post was written before the lineup announcement on 5/11, which has Chris Taylor out of the leadoff spot.

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Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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  1. All cute ideas but they will mean nothing in terms of result. In addition to key injuries and lack of performance by key guys, the big issue is no good additions to the roster in the off season and a few key losses. Look at that unsightly bullpen and the names; Chargis and Anderson? Loss of Morrow and Watson. No real replacement for Darvish (though he is addition by subtraction)-yet no help for Kershaw who is showing sharp decline via injuries or other factors. All of this in-action May payoff by re-setting the luxury tax threshold so this off season they may be able to sign a key free agent-like the .237 hitting Bryce Harper? But whatever the benefit of ‘resetting’, it won’t happen this year and NOTHING Dave Roberts can do will change this … sorry.

    • LA needs speed, athletes with running ability. This team is slow even when playing well. And right now we aren’t playing well and we are slowly than ever.

    • I agree that changing things likely won’t garner much in results, the issue isn’t necessarily lineup, it’s roster construction. I think my main problem with Dave is that he really just doesn’t have the fire in him. He’s a solid manager when things are going right, but lacks the inner fighter to help guide the players out of this tailspin.

      I will complain about this more for you on the Blue Heaven podcast tonight! Thanks for the input, Lou! Hope you’ll give us a listen!

    • Fire roberts. He just left Kenta in one inning too many. Just one of many blunders…poor coaching of fielding, base running, et al

  2. It’s time the over-matched Dave Roberts was let go. It’s not the patch-work line up he puts on the field, but his unstable leadership. He doesn’t exude confidence.

    But Chet does. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale called it earlier this spring in his column on Chet’s clubhouse leadership. All of the players respect him and his style. I suspect he doesn’t want to be put in the midst of this conversation–it’s not like him–but it’s time to admit why the Dodgers have kept him on the roster. He’s the manager in waiting.

    UItley for Manager!

    Al Ainsworth

    If the Dodgers are to save the season and make this team work, Dave has to go.

    • Please correct spelling errors. Chet to Chase and Utley spelling.

      That’ll teach me to try and be coherent in the wee hours.

      Thank you.

      Al. Ainsworth

      • Haha! Love the self correction, Al! I think Chase “Chet” Utley could make a fine manager, but he’s in that clubhouse already — and believe me, he has a powerful voice in there — but it’s not enough.

        In my opinion, the manager will never have the full control and respect of every player in the clubhouse, it’s the role players around him that make him better, and help stay the course.

        With Roberts and Bob Geren, you don’t seem to have the “Lou Pinella style” spark. You have a pair of good tacticians, but tacticians don’t spark a club.

        The loss of Turner (so far) and Adrian Gonzalez (and even Andre Ethier) severely depleted his respected voices who can jump on a player for not performing.

  3. It’s painfully obvious the signs were there last year when they lost 16 games in a row. Roberts didn’t have to do much managing until the world series which showed that he is not much of a manager. I think he over thinks stuff too much and makes so many moves he uses up the entire roster every night nobody can get into a rhythm. Injuries played a small part in it but it looks to me like the players are almost on a player revolt? or lost confidence in Roberts system. I’m afraid the honeymoon might be over at this point. Something more than a slump is in play here when your leadoff man is 39 year old guy you signed because of his clubhouse skills and your leading batter was to be a salary dump the problems go deeper than just a slump. Last year I gave a lot of credit to the hitting coach so some of the blame must fall on him as well now. This year is gone even if they get to the series again by some miracle they could not beat Houston, The Yankees or Boston one of those three teams will win it all. In the off season they should re-tool and break up the team. Keep Seagar, Turner, and Bellinger. Everybody else including Kershaw should be for sale I’ll take flack for that one but I think his best years are behind him and to tie up a max salary plus on him I think is not wise but that’s just me.

    • *Slow clap*

      Brilliant response, Michael… You should come write for us. Seriously.

      After this weekend series, I’ve had more time to reflect on my post here… this is how I feel: Dave Roberts has no fire in him. He’s a solid manager when things are going right, but lacks the inner a-hole need to help motivate and push a player to be better.

  4. Let’s get this done up front. DR has to go. Excuse after excuse as to each loss. Look in the mirror. Changing pitchers in the most inopportune times. Watch them. Usually pissed to be yanked, and the replacement pitcher blows it. Watch the return tossed from the catcher. Throws a “not happy” return to the new thrower after throws. Note “thrower”, not pitcher. Seems all the bullpen does is throw. No thought or consistency. And batters that either swing or park the bat on their shoulder. Bat. Batting coach to blame. The commentators are always talking about batters tweaking their swing from last year. Go back. Swing like it is 2017. Theme. Coaching. Players trying to figure it out themselves. Case in point. Belli’s bunt. Players trying things on their own. Coaching either goes or wakes the hell up and gets some fire in their eyes. And ass.

  5. Personally, I blame the use of straight analytics. I can understand a nice balance of analytics and and the eye test but when Dave was hired against all odds vs the other candidates, I honestly believe it was because of his openness to being a puppet for the front office. I believe he has nothing to manage, no decisions, every scenario is preditermined before every game and every decision done and over with for Dave. He just has to follow the script. The Astros won that world series because of AJ Hinch’s ability to stray from the script. Both teams have analytics first teams, but the Astros obviously saw what was happening in front of their eyes and said screw the numbers. So idiotic listening to announcers talk about hills struggles the third time through the lineup. So many starts he’s been strong late only to be taken out because of the dreaded third time facing a guy, only to have the bullpen blow it. So many times our starters get pulled early when everyone in socal (at least those with spectrum…pigs) are watching them pitch a stellar game, with plenty left in the tank. THERE NEEDS TO BE A BALANCE. We wonder why our bullpen was out of gas come world series time. Maybe we go with our gut and leave rich in in game 2, don’t have to go to mediocre relievers, and get to our best 3 relievers for the final 3 innings. Everything changes from there. Maybe we aren’t in year 30 of our world series drought. I respect Dave, but anyone who thought he was going to come in and be an explosive get the guys fired up kinda guy like Bobby Cox, who are you kidding. Why would anyone expect that based on his playing career. He was always a great teamate and there are such things as players managers. Also where did that ever get Bobby come playoff time. Just want to point out it’s mattingly all over again, same bonehead decisions, I personally couldn’t stand don, but look what he did with the Marlin’s last season. First time he’s gotten to manage since before the dodgers first hired him before Friedman and co. I was much more impressed with what he did in Miami than I ever was with his stacked rosters in LA. Anyway, rant over, give the guy a chance. You went from all the praise in the world for him last season to coming with the stakes and torches for his head a month and a half into this season. It is typical of dodger fans I suppose. Remember how teams generally fare after a world series loss the next season. Even if we don’t continue the playoff streak this season, one thing Friedman has done is built a strong roster and farm depth we haven’t had in a while. They’re smart dudes, just wish they would stay out of the managing business. One last tidbit how is Pedro baez still on the roster. It is amazing the stats he puts up each season, he is one of the best zero pressure relievers in the game, but then god forbid it’s a situation that matters and boom! Garbage. And a-gon, you mean A-Gone from the team when it matters most. I don’t see that as leadership, I understand family, but pretty sure he had enough money to schedule vacation in the off-season. Should have been there with his teammates. Say what you want about Andre Ethier, but through almost two full seasons of injuries, you always saw him in the dugout.
    And also, to say you wouldn’t want Bryce Harper and specifically point out his batting average, I’ll take your bet that he’s not going to be in the top 5 in the MVP vote come seasons end. I mean why would we want to add a 25 year old perennial MVP to the roster. That’s not how you build winners I guess. I’m personally not a fan but it’s the same as Puig, if he’s yours you love him, if not you hate him. Anyway if youmade. it this far, thanks for taking the time to read. I don’t usually write on boards like this so I had a lot of stuff to get off my chest. Go Dodgers! Don’t freak out, we’ll be back and playing like our true selves by at some point. Unfortunate world series loss hangover may be a thing, but honestly I’m still trying to get over it, and I was just a spectator.

  6. One last thing, you have to give the dodgers credit. Their history of piecing together castoff relievers and taking a chance on them has impressed me big time. Unfortunately looks like this might be the year it didn’t work out. I fear the day that Honeycutt finally retires. The way he’s turned around so many pitchers careers is amazing. Joe blanton, Brandon morrow, amazing what he’s done. With so much success stockpiling no-name relievers and failed starters to bridge to Jansen, why change the process? Swing and a miss. Strikeouts are up this season, Friedman and co. included I suppose. I could do this all day, but unfortunately I have to go to work. Go Dodgers! Remember this is the same roster that came 1 win away from a championship. Heart and soul is back! Justin will rally the troops. And remember what we did last summer before the horrible losing streak. But really why Baez? Wish he would have followed Hatcher out of town.

  7. I agree with everything you had said. In fact I would take a step further and wish Dave was fired. I know everyone else will say their first placplace now, we got Manny, but Dodgers are wasting all this Talent, with the likes of Donnie Baseball and Dave Roberts at the helm. Both are first-time managers and they both debuted a big league level. I would say they win in spite of Dave and lose because of him. How many times has he played matchups and has nobody left the bench to pitch it. Last two seasons there have been relief pitchers having to bat cuz, because there is nobody left to bat for them. And don’t even ask about pitching changes… He has no clue when to take the pitcher out…EVER. I’m so glad the whole world saw what Dodger fans see and witness everyday at the All-Star Game it just passed. Leaving Stippling in way too long. Ross took the loss and any momentum he had going to second half of season, is gone. That’s just a few of the issues I have with Dave…
    Why can the Dodgers hire a top-rate manager…?? After Joe Torre who is decent, we had two guys learning on the job, wasted Grenke and Kershaw. And the Dodgers are wasting the 2017 season because Dave couldn’t make it adjustment couldn’t change lineup. Dodgers we’re simply out managed by AJ hinch. Smoltz said best “AJ use his eyeballs”. He let Gattis bat against Kershaw Lefty Lefty matchup, and Gattis took Kershaw deep. Dave I would never let that happen. EVER!! L

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