Dodgers’ Dave Roberts voted NL Manager of the Year

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first_img“We had a lot of adversity this year, just the consistency in which he dealt with that. His ability to communicate, his ability to put guys in positions to succeed, he and his coaching staff did a tremendous job of helping to cultivate that culture I alluded to earlier. The exciting part is it’s going to be that much better next year and into the future.”Roberts’ rookie season was filled with difficult choices for the manager. In the first week of the regular season, he pulled rookie Ross Stripling even though Stripling had a no-hitter in the eighth inning of his big-league debut. Five months later, he pulled veteran left-hander Rich Hill after seven perfect innings, fearing a recurrence of Hill’s blister problems.Those were only two of a record 606 pitching changes made by Roberts, who lost ace Clayton Kershaw for 75 days in mid-season. And that total didn’t include Roberts’ aggressive bullpen management during the postseason, when he extended closer Kenley Jansen to multiple innings and turned to Kershaw to close out the decisive game of the NL Division Series against the Washington Nationals.In all, 55 players appeared in a game for Roberts’ Dodgers this year, including 31 pitchers (15 starting pitchers). A record 28 were placed on the DL at one time or another. But the Dodgers overcame an eight-game deficit in late June to win their fourth consecutive NL West title and reached the NLCS before losing to the eventual World Series champion Chicago Cubs.Behind the numbers, though, it was Roberts’ unrelenting positivity and upbeat attitude that helped change the culture in a once agenda-riven clubhouse.“You never know the demands or how it’s going to play out until you really live it. I think that’s in a lot of different things,” Roberts said of his first year on the job. “But I think for me, I was given the autonomy, the flexibility to really stay micro-focused with our guys. For Andrew and his guys to be forward thinking about some things, was kind of out of my control. It just allowed me to stay focused on the day to day and how I managed the ’pen, the starting staff, the pitching staff, the players who came through — I don’t know how many different names came through that clubhouse this year.“For us on the field to just stay focused on the day to day, I think that really helped me and not get ahead of myself. I think once you start trying to get ahead too far, then I think distractions, noise, pressure, stress all start to come into play. So for me, just given that kind of empowerment to just focus on the day to day I think made things a lot easier for me and the coaches.” The numbers don’t seem to add up. But Dodgers manager Dave Roberts made the math work well enough in his first season to earn the National League’s Manager of the Year award for 2016. Roberts received 16 of the 30 first-place votes. Cubs manager Joe Maddon finished second with eight first-place votes. Nationals manager Dusty Baker received four first-place votes and Mets manager Terry Collins two.“I’m completely humbled. I really am,” Roberts said upon receiving the news Tuesday.It is the highest finish for a Dodgers manager since 2013 when Don Mattingly received two first-place votes and finished second overall to Pittsburgh’s Clint Hurdle.Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda is the only previous Dodgers manager to win the award. Lasorda won it in 1988 and 1983 (the first year in which the MOY was awarded).“Obviously I’m biased, but I would be absolutely shocked if he didn’t win the manager of the year award,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said after the Dodgers were eliminated in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img By Bill [email protected]@billplunkettocr on TwitterFifty-five players, 28 placed on the disabled list — and 91 wins? last_img

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