Coaches that lead talented teams rarely get their due in sports. There may be no finer example of that than Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. Throughout his tenure with the Dodgers, Roberts has suffered the slings and arrows of each playoff failure. Doc was taught that lesson very early on from the late, great Tommy Lasorda.
In a piece in The Athletic by Andrew McCullough, Roberts discussed the advice Lasorda gave him in 2016. It was Doc’s first season at the helm in LA.
“When things go well, the players get all the credit and then when things go bad, it’s your fault.”
Lasorda was known to be candid, but he was also known to be spot on with his managerial assessments.
Roberts’ reflection on Lasorda’s advice: “Oh, I’ve lived it.”
In that first year with the Dodgers, Roberts helped LA win its fourth-consecutive NL West division title. In the NLDS against the Nationals, Roberts made the gutsy call to have starter Clayton Kershaw close the pivotal Game 5 with LA clinging to a one run lead.
It was far from the last time Doc called on Kershaw in October in an atypical situation.
The Dodgers would go on to lose the NLCS (4-2) to the eventual World Series champion Chicago Cubs.
Currently, Roberts has just one year remaining on his contract. At the moment, he and the Dodgers haven’t completed an extension. Although MLB is currently in a lockout, teams are still able to sign coaches and managers.
When McCullough asked Roberts if he was concerned about getting the extension, Doc responded with:
“It’ll get done. It’ll get done.”
His next few years in baseball will likely be in Dodger blue. Even if they aren’t, Roberts will still carry Lasorda’s sage advice with him, regardless of what the future holds.
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