Andrew Friedman: Criticism Of Dave Roberts For Dodgers’ NLDS Loss Is ‘Unfair’

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ historic season ended abruptly when the San Diego Padres eliminated them in the 2022 National League Division Series after they won just one game.

It certainly fell short of the expectations placed on the team that set a franchise record with 111 wins and went 14-5 against the Padres. The NLDS loss has led to an array of questions and many outside the organization calling for Dodgers manager Dave Roberts to be fired.

“I personally don’t think the criticism that Dave has received has been fair,” president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said during a press conference.

“After a loss, there are narratives formed of what happened, and I get that. Both positive and negative. … I think there are decisions that are 50-50, or 55-45, and if those worked, Dave would’ve gotten praised for them.”

While Roberts made some questionable decisions, every manager does as well. But at the end of the day, the Dodgers’ offense went on an 0-for-20 stretch with runners in scoring position and failed to come through on offense consistently throughout the series, which is the main reason for their loss.

Perhaps Roberts pulled his starting pitchers too early, but it’s hard to criticize him for trusting a bullpen that was elite throughout the regular season. Roberts could have used different players to pinch hit or start, but none of the position players who would have been utilized were performing well either.

These decisions are also not made randomly or by guessing. Roberts works with the rest of the Dodgers coaching staff and front office to plan for all these decisions based on the data available, just like every other club in MLB.

But regardless of those decisions made, it’s still up to the players to perform. All Roberts can do is put them in the best chance for success, but it’s still on the players.

Ultimately, Roberts is one of the best managers in baseball and he is on a Hall of Fame trajectory. This year, he became the first NL manager in history to lead his team to the playoffs in his first seven seasons. The last manager to do it was Joe Torre with the New York Yankees, who did it for 12 straight seasons.

Additionally, he has the highest winning percentage ever among managers with 1,000+ games while winning six division titles and a World Series.

Dave Roberts returning as Dodgers manager in 2023

It was already reported that Roberts would return to manage the Dodgers for the 2023 season, and that was confirmed by Friedman on Tuesday. Friedman also added he doesn’t expect any changes to the coaching staff.

Roberts was previously signed to a three-year contract extension prior to the start of the 2022 season.

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