Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has been on both sides of his team’s storied rivalry with the San Francisco Giants.
After playing with the Dodgers from 2002-2004, Roberts finished his career with two seasons on the Giants in 2007 and 2008, following manager Bruce Bochy from the San Diego Padres. Eight years later, Roberts’ first loss as Dodgers manager would come in San Francisco.
Roberts and Bochy’s time facing off as opposing managers will come to an end after the 2019 season, though, with Bochy set to retire. Roberts has made no secret about his respect for Bochy, and even offered the veteran manager a spot on his 2019 National League All-Star coaching staff. Bochy, though, politely declined.
However, Roberts still loves being part of such a storied and fierce rivalry, which dates back to when the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants represented neighboring New York City boroughs.
He has a high regard for its history and significance, and enjoys the way it excites both team’s fanbases, via SportsNetLA:
“It’s one of the best rivalries in sports. The fanbases, it goes backs a long ways. … I think that there’s always pride when you’re talking about a division rivalry. I think both teams bring out the best in one another, there’s a mutual respect; I know from our side there is, and I would assume from the other side as well. Obviously the fans get into it, they enjoy it, we feed off the crowd.”
Roberts does not speak that way about every team that considers the Dodgers their rivals. With L.A. on pace to win its seventh straight NL West title, other division foes like the Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks tend to emphasize their “rivalry” with the Dodgers.
Roberts, though, said back in May during a series in San Diego that the Dodgers “really don’t care who we play.”
He was more open to calling the Chicago Cubs a Dodgers “rival” despite the geographical distance because of both team’s big city locations and shared postseason battles over the past few years.
Still, the Giants are far and away most widely considered the Dodgers’ true archrival. That has continued to be evidenced in 2019.
Despite the Dodgers’ current status as one of the best teams in baseball while the Giants are in the midst of a rebuild, the teams have split their 10 matchups so far in 2019, several of which were close games.
Additionally, the rivalry sparked some headlines when Max Muncy and Madison Bumgarner exchanged words after Muncy hit a home run off Bumgarner. Muncy later said Bumgarner was mad at how long Muncy watched his home run fly, to which Muncy responded, “Go get it out of the ocean.”