The Dodgers are in a unique position coming into the 2021 season. Each year, there is just one MLB team that gets to walk into the new year with a World Series title in their rearview mirrors. For Los Angeles, that brings its own set of challenges.
Dave Roberts knows that the team that his front office has assembled in the wake of a World Series win. In fact, this Dodgers team is almost entirely unheard of after winning a championship. Never before have we see a team so willing to spend money AFTER winning it all.
But while Doc does admit he has a super team in front of him, talent only takes you so far. Roberts talked with The OC Register this week about this season, and what he has to do to make the Dodgers formula work as a whole.
When you’re asking a talented roster, a bunch of superstars to come together and ultimately to sacrifice for the best interests of the ballclub, that sounds easy. That sounds simple. But the day-to-day is not as easy as it sounds.
The Dodgers front office can go out and spend over $100 million on Trevor Bauer to make the team better. They can give Justin Turner a 2-year deal that keeps him in Los Angeles in a highly competitive window. And they can scoop up all of the relief arms that they can think of on the market. But what they cannot do, is make all of those guys work in unison towards a common goal. That falls on Dave.
When you’re first trying to create a culture as a manager, you want your players to play for one common goal. You have a vision of how it’s supposed to be. But I think you also have to leave room and give latitude for players to voice their thoughts and concerns. And also let them know when they do share these thoughts, this is not selfish on their part. I have to kind of take it and try to apply it and at the bare minimum hear them out because they all have individual needs. It has to work both ways. I have to give. They have to give. It’s a give and take.
Having the most talented roster in baseball does not always translate to a World Series win. You could even make the argument that the Dodgers have had the most talented roster in a few of the last 5 years or so, culminating in just 1 title.
There is no doubt at all that the 2021 Dodgers have one of the best potential rosters in baseball, if not THE best roster. But in order for it to work, Roberts will have to rally very different personalities around one common cause: bringing back-to-back titles to Los Angeles.
The Dodgers will be without a few guys that have come to define the clubhouse over the last few years. They lose Joc, they lose Kiké, and they add in Bauer. If anyone can get that clubhouse to work, it’s Dave Roberts.
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