While Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has already survived a few trade deadlines as a the manager, there is still one trade he remembers vividly. His own.
He was in the middle of a fine season with the Dodgers in 2004. While he was losing playing time in an overcrowded outfield (sound familiar?), he still slashed a respectable .253/.340/.365 while adding 33 stolen bases for the boys in blue. On July 31, 2004, he got the unexpected call — he’d been traded to the Boston Red Sox.
The Dodgers were in first place in the NL West and sitting at a respectable 60-43 on the day he was “blindsided,” as he put it, by the trade. Doc spoke about the trade with Bill Plunkett of the OC Register.
It was a surprise. Emotional. Worked out great, but I wasn’t happy to leave Los Angeles.
While the trade obviously worked out for him —
— He still thinks about that day and relates it to his players.
You’re talking about players and lives being uprooted. There’s anxiety because you don’t know. You hear your name circulating — and your role on this team, another potential team.
There are a lot of things you try to drown out, but guys are humans. It seeps into your thought, but when it does happen, some players are excited because they go to a contender. Some players are disappointed. It’s always tough, though. It’s a tough time of year.
Importantly, however, Roberts notes that his team isn’t being distracted by this time of year, “guys are doing a really good job focusing on the job at hand.”
Last night the Dodgers won their MLB-best 70th game and are primed to get better at the deadline. And Dave Roberts is ready for whatever comes his way.