The Los Angeles Dodgers made the World Series for the second straight year, only to again fall short of their ultimate goal, this time being defeated by the Boston Red Sox in five games.
Heartbreak is abound for them but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts admitted that the Red Sox were the better team. With the offseason now underway, the Dodgers’ staff and players need to get back to work so they can put themselves in a position to break their 30-year World Series drought, which Roberts plans to do.
“We’ve just got to go back out there, and I expect us to be back here next year, but celebrating on the field,” he said after the Game 5 loss at Dodger Stadium.
“I think the culture, the players, as far as the large majority are in place. I think there’s a lot of good things. I think the sum of what we’re doing, what we’ve done, the arrow is pointing certainly in the right direction.”
Last season the Dodgers pulled away from the pack and finished with the best record in baseball. Though, it of course didn’t carry much significance as they lost a Game 7 to the Houston Astros at home. This season, the Dodgers were force to scratch and claw for every bit of success.
“Baseball is so unpredictable. You’ve got to obviously give yourself a chance to get to the postseason. And once you get there, you’ve just got to be playing your best baseball,” Roberts said.
“So I think you look back and you’ve got to appreciate the talent, the team that you’re playing against. I don’t think we played our best but part of it, a lot of it is you’ve got to give credit to the opponent. And we have a lot of time to think about this one, but, again, spring is going to be around the corner. And like I said, I expect us to be back here next year.”
The Dodgers have a number of players reaching MLB free agency, but as was the case last season, their core nucleus of players should all be returning in 2019.
Considering they stayed below the $197 million luxury tax threshold, the Dodgers should also have some money to spend in free agency. Roberts does not feel there are any specific needs to be addressed.
“I think that’s something that we’re going to have a lot of time to kind of think through. And not everyone is going to be back,” he acknowledged. “So you’re talking about backfilling and how things go.
“So right now to kind of figure out where we need to go, that’s a tough one. We have a lot of time for that. Like I said, our guys in the front office do a heck of a job to put us in the position to get the players. And we’ll get over the hump. It’s not easy. It hurts. It’s disappointing. All that.
“But to say we didn’t win a championship, and to say it was an unsuccessful season, I think that’s doing a disservice to everyone in that clubhouse.”
Roberts currently doesn’t have a contract to remain the manager of the Dodgers, but the expectation is that he will be back in 2019, whether it’s on a team option or a long-term extension.