Dave Roberts became the first Dodger manager in 28 years to win the National League Manager of the Year award on Tuesday. Tommy Lasorda won the award in 1983 and 1988, the only other recipient of the award by a Dodger manager since its inception in ’83.
Rookie manager Roberts was the sixth manager to win the award in his first full season as skipper, but it was also the third straight year a rookie manager nabbed the honor, with Jeff Bannister winning in the AL last year and Matt Williams for the NL in 2014.
Even though Roberts got off to a bit of a shaky start to the season and supposedly lost the clubhouse on multiple occasions, he still led the team to their fourth consecutive NL West title in 2016 with 91 wins. This was all accomplished despite a plethora of injuries and 28 players to land on the disabled list, including Clayton Kershaw‘s back injury that prevented him from pitching for 2 1/2 months.
Remember when Dave Roberts had to use 55 players and 15 starting pitchers just to get the @Dodgers through the regular season?
— Baseball Tonight (@BBTN) November 15, 2016
Dave Roberts has already lost the clubhouse about 50 times this season, like when the team collapsed after he removed Ross Stripling from his no-hitter, or when he personally prevented the team from trading for Chris Sale, or when he shot A.J. Ellis into the sun with his own rocket ship, or when he yanked Rich Hill from his perfect game, or when he called Yasiel Puig back up from AAA despite him not washing his hands (that’s why Zack Greinke left!). Well, apparently Dave has done it again, as even with the team’s Magic Number down to 2, players are in open revolt over playing time.
Roberts was not perfect during his first year at the helm. All those intentional walks were questionable at times, and he nearly cost the Dodgers the NLDS against the Nationals with some major managerial missteps in Game 4, but he still was able to learn from his mistakes and led the club with a hands-on approach that seemed to be appreciated by the players. The award doesn’t take postseason performance into consideration, and the Dodgers’ inability to clinch that long-awaited World Series berth was unfortunately out of Roberts’ reach this time around. Yet with a very successful campaign in his first year as manager of the Dodgers, there is definitely a positive outlook for the team with Dave’s leadership at the helm.