The Los Angeles Dodgers had an earlier-than-anticipated postseason exit for the second straight year due to being eliminated in the National League Division Series.
Both times entering the playoffs, the Dodgers were heavily favored to come away with an NLDS victory after much more successful regular seasons than their 2022 opponent San Diego Padres and 2023 opponent Arizona Diamondbacks. The Dodgers had at least 15 more wins than both teams and outplayed them throughout the season in head-to-head matchups.
After the Dodgers were eliminated last year, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman called it an “organizational failure” and said they would try to learn from the loss to try and avoid it in the future. But one year later, the Dodgers found themselves in the same situation.
“I think those words ring true,” Friedman said. “We talk about this a lot, and I would hope our actions demonstrate this, our goal each and every year is to win a championship. In our opinion, putting ourselves in the best position to do that in the regular season is to win the division, which puts us in the best position to win a championship. When we don’t do that, I think it’s fair to say it’s an organizational failure.
“It doesn’t mean there weren’t successes or a lot of things to grab onto, special memories that were created throughout the summer that I think are real and happened and are meaningful. That being said, our goal is to win 11 games in October, and we didn’t win one. So we need to figure out what we can do differently and how to go about it.
“We’re at that fork in the road. We get to choose, do we just lay down or do we keep fighting? This weekend I didn’t feel like the keep fighting was the right answer, but we’ve certainly gotten there and we’ve got meetings starting [Wednesday] to really get into things and try to put ourselves in the best position so that on October 17th of next year, this situation is very different and we’re talking about preparing for Game 2 of the NLCS.”
As the president of baseball operations, Friedman has final say over all baseball-related decisions, including the roster, management and staffing, and reports directly to Dodgers ownership regarding the team.
“A lot,” Friedman answered when asked how much of the Dodgers’ shortcomings he takes responsibility for.
“I think when there is an organizational failure, it starts and ends with me. I didn’t do a good enough job. I’m going to do everything I can this offseason with our group to put ourselves in a position where we are the team that plays in and wins the last game of the year next year.”
Friedman has long been considered one of the best executives in baseball, which still stands to this day. However, the Dodgers made many questionable decisions in building their roster dating back to the offseason, trade deadline, and setting their postseason roster.
Rather than going all-in or just being aggressive in improving their roster, the team took a cautious approach, which left them with holes in multiple spots.
Ultimately, it’s still up to the players to execute, and they can’t be expected to win any series where Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman hit a combined 1-for-21, but the management still needs to put the group in the best position to win, which they did not.
The Dodgers now have a lot of extra time to re-asses their process and see what they can do differently moving forward.
“I think it’s incumbent upon us at the end of each season to look back,” Friedman said. “It’s the most helpful for us in terms of informing future decisions.
“When we look back at the regular season, obviously there’s a lot to be proud of. Overcame a lot of adversity, it was fun watching those guys go out and compete on an everyday basis and see what they did. And obviously with our ultimate goal, came up incredibly short.
“It was painful and we’ve begun the process of doing everything we can to wrap our arms around it, understand it as best we can, react to the things are important to react to, not react to the things that aren’t. And do everything we can to put ourselves back in the position we were in a week and a half ago and have the October process play out way differently.”
Andrew Friedman confirms Dave Roberts remains Dodgers manager
In addition, Friedman confirmed manager Dave Roberts is returning for the 2024 season and said he does not anticipate any changes to the coaching staff.
Friedman has been steadfast in his public support of Roberts since he was hired as manager before the 2016 season and took blame off the skipper for the last two postseasons.
Make sure to follow Dodger Blue on Instagram! It’s the best way to see exclusive coverage from games and events, get your questions answered, and more!