No Mission Is Impossible For Dave Roberts

No Mission Is Impossible For Dave Roberts

By Nick Hamilton| MLBbro.com Contributor 


LOS ANGELES
The 2021 season for the Los Angeles Dodgers could easily be a reality television series that gives fans every emotion and feeling possible. 

From dealing with injuries throughout the lineup, to the saga of pitcher Trevor Bauer that has more drama than a General Hospital episode, and battling to claim the NL West while falling short by one game to their hated rival San Francisco Giants made this season a challenging one to say the least.

Manager Dave Roberts has seen and experienced it all, from his time as a player winning a World Series championship with the 2004 Boston Red Sox to becoming the franchises first minority manager being of Black and Japanese heritage.

Despite the criticisms over the years, Roberts has guided the Dodgers to multiple World Series appearances, battling against cheating scandals surrounding the Houston Astros in 2017 and Red Sox in 2018 and hes always stood tall on his focus.

His determination and tremendous baseball knowledge finally guided the Dodgers to their first championship in 32 years in 2020. Unfortunately, it happened during one of the most deadly global pandemics our generation has experienced.

It didnt happen at Dodger Stadium, therefore, there were limited fans attending the World Series in Texas. It came down to a sixth game and on the arm of a young phenom in lefty Julio Urias to secure the final three outs.

His young stable of hitters led by Corey Seager became the World Series MVP, acquiring one of the greatest talents in the game in Mookie Betts paid dividends especially defensively, and we saw the emergence of players like Walker Buehler, Cody Bellinger and Kike Hernandez under Robertstutelage.

The 2021 season saw his Dodgers with their backs against the wall against a feisty and successful St. Louis Cardinals team that had won 17 consecutive games in September and won 19 out of their last 20.

Was Roberts unfazed by his opponent? You better believe it. Though he respected his opponent, he knew the type of talent and the attitude of his players who can play with a chip on their shoulder the size of Frito-Lay most times.

Only in Los Angeles where a team could win in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the ninth inning in a winner-take-all Wild Card game against the Cardinals at Dodger Stadium. Roberts continued to smile in the faces of his critics, and focused on his team defeating his NL West rival Giants in the NLDS.

This was a tall task seeing how the Giants clinched the division with a franchise-record 107-win season. Ultimately it came down to a do-or-die Game 5 at Oracle Park in San Francisco. Of course, Robertsmethods would come into question again, as in the eleventh hour the probable starter Urias was changed to Corey Kneble. This decision came after Roberts proclaimed Urias would be starting Game 5.

Again, he managed his team out of NLDS and into the NLCS in a rematch against the Atlanta Braves. The Dodgers overcame a 3-1 deficit to win that series last year.

Its time to put some serious respect on Robertsname and trust his decision- making more, especially with the proven track record hes laid down. I often wonder if Roberts didnt have the appearance he has, would he be questioned as much as he is.

Hes won a championship as a Black manager in a league that has just eight percent Black American baseball players on the field. There is a serious need for not only more Black players but more Black managers in positions to lead MLB teams.

Roberts is like Tom Cruise, no mission is impossible and could be well on his way to capturing another World Series title in 2021. The Roberts hire also shows when given an opportunity to manage with the proper personnel, anything is possible!

The Two Best Managers In MLB Right Now Are Bros

The Two Best Managers In MLB Right Now Are Bros

Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Dusty Baker of the Houston Astros are the only two managers of African American descent in Major League Baseball.

Both men are leading their clubhouses and have their squads tied for most wins in the league.

The controversial 5-2 Astros came out the gates on fire, winning four in a row, but winning doesn’t permanently erase the past, as opposing fans find a vindictive joy in jeering the Astros because of their World Series cheating scandal, which was uncovered prior to the 2020 season.

The Astros hired Dusty after firing their manager A.J. Hinch who oversaw the cheating scandal. After a one year suspension, Hinch landed plushly at the helm of the Detroit Tigers. He was able to exit Houston and avoid the backlash that current manager Dusty Baker has to deal with, but Dusty’s experience, unrivaled leadership ability, and winning pedigree is why the Astros hired him in the midst of such a scandal.

He isn’t the 14th-ranked manager on the all-time MLB wins list for nothing. During the season opener in Oakland, fans booed the Astros during intros. During the sixth inning of Monday’s matchup against the Angels, fans took it up a notch by launching an inflatable trash can onto the warning track.

 

The blatant shenanigans was a dig at the team who infamously banged on cans to tip off opponents’ pitches during the 2019 playoffs. Moments later, fans hurled an actual trash can filled with bottles onto the field to make matters worse.

Baker informed the media of his frustrations with the fans and said that the parents were setting a terrible example for the younger generation.

He told the New York Post, “You can tell the amount of hostility and hatred in the stands.” He added, “We paid the price for it. It’s easy to live in a glasshouse, but I don’t think anybody lives in glass houses. I think sometimes we need to look at ourselves before we spew hate on somebody else.”

Baker, a man known for overcoming obstacles throughout his baseball career, is game for what’s coming his team’s way, and so are the fans.

On the other hand, manager Dave Roberts and his 6-2 Dodgers are cooking with fish grease. The World Champs torched clubs during a five-game winning streak, before eventually falling to the Oakland Athletics in extras.

After overcoming recent playoff letdowns, Roberts captured his first World Series championship last season, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays in six games (4-2).

With the victory, he became the first manager of color to win the c’hip since Toronto Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston went back to back like Jordan and the Bulls in 1992 and 1993.

Although both managers made history last season, by reaching the championship series, Baker’s Astros fell to the Rays in a grueling 7-game ALCS.

If it weren’t for the pesky Rays defeating the Astros in seven games, Baker and Roberts would have had the first All-Black managerial World Series in baseball history, sparking the interest of Black and brown kids across the nation. Watching the journey of these two former players culminate in a World Series showdown would be a huge win for Black baseball.