2016 NLDS: Dusty Baker Compliments Dave Roberts, But Says ‘He’s In The Way’
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

After guiding the Los Angeles Dodgers to a fourth straight National League West title — a first in franchise history — manager Dave Roberts now faces the challenge of succeeding in the postseason.

Since beginning their division run in 2013, the Dodgers have advanced past the NL Division Series just once. They were eliminated by the St. Louis Cardinals in six games in the 2013 NL Championship Series.

While Roberts will ultimately be judged by how he fares in October, fact of the matter is he’s already accomplished plenty this season.

The Dodgers set a Major League Baseball record by placing 28 different players on the disabled list, and came from eight games back to catch the rival San Francisco Giants in the NL West standings.

During his club’s workout on Tuesday in preparation for the NLDS, Nationals manager Dusty Baker complimented Roberts but also included a matter-of-fact reminder of what’s at stake, via ESPN’s Eddie Matz:

“He’s always a pleasant guy, he’s a very bright young man, but he’s in the way.”

During his media availability Tuesday night, Roberts essentially repeated Baker’s comments when asked about their friendship. “Dusty is a great man, I have a lot of respect for him, but he’s in our way,” Roberts said with a smile.

Baker is entering his eighth postseason as manager. The Nationals are the fourth different team he’s led to the playoffs, which includes reaching the 2002 World Series with the San Francisco Giants.

After early growing pains, Roberts seemed to find his footing as the season wore on. His success prompted one NL executive to change his opinion of the rookie skipper. Roberts, and perhaps Baker as well, figure to be in the running for 2016 NL Manager of the Year.