When the Los Angeles Dodgers and Don Mattingly mutually agreed to part ways after the 2015 season, the club conducted a lengthy and thorough search for its next manager. Former director of player development Gabe Kapler was widely viewed as the favorite to win the position, but lost out in the end and has since taken over managerial duties for the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Dodgers went on to name Dave Roberts as the 32nd manager in franchise history, and the rest was history. Prior to his hiring, Roberts spent parts of five seasons with the San Diego Padres and most recently served as their bench coach during from 2014-15.
Despite his ties to the club, Roberts was never considered for the Padres’ managerial opening after the firing of Bud Black — a position that was eventually given to Andy Green.
Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler recently expressed regret for not interviewing Roberts for the club’s managerial vacancy in 2015, per Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune:
“In retrospect, I think it was a mistake,” Fowler said. “We should’ve talked to Doc (Roberts’ nickname). … I think we as an organization own that. Personally, I regret it. I think all of us have grown, and I include (Padres General Manager A.J. Preller) in that. But we didn’t (interview Roberts), and I’m happy that Doc is having the success he’s having with the Dodgers, and I’m also very happy with the manager that we have in Andy Green.”
In two seasons with the Dodgers, Roberts owns a 324-195 managerial record — good for a .602 winning percentage. In two trips to the postseason, he has led Los Angeles to a 15-11 record (.577).
Roberts was named 2016 National League Manager of the Year following an impressive debut season in which the Dodgers won 91 games during the regular season. The club was eliminated by the eventual World Series champion Chicago Cubs in six games in the NL Championship Series.
This past season, Roberts led the Dodgers to a Los Angeles-best 104 wins during the regular season and their first World Series appearance in 29 years. He finished as the runner-up to the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Torey Lovullo for NL Manager of the Year.
Along with Roberts, his mentor and current Colorado Rockies manager Black was a finalist for NL Manager of the Year honors. Roberts credits Black for providing him guidance along the way in his transition as Dodgers manager.
Roberts is entering the final season of his three-year contract (fourth-year option in 2019), but he isn’t concerned and hopes for a long tenure with the Dodgers. It wouldn’t be surprising if an extension between both parties is reached this offseason.