Dave Roberts Puts End To In-Game Interviews For Dodgers Players

In response to challenges and changes brought about by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic this season, several networks made adjustments to their live coverage of games. The most notable of which was expanding on in-game interviews.

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts would speak with Alanna Rizzo from the dugout during the early innings of a game on a nightly basis, and SportsNet LA additionally would interview a player who was not in the lineup.

For the postseason, ESPN — which exclusively televised the Dodgers’ Wild Card Series against the Milwaukee Brewers and other matchups — has conducted in-game interviews with players while they are in the field.

They spoke with Justin Turner during Game 1, then continued the conversation when Turner went into the dugout and waited to bat in the home half of the inning. Oakland Athletics center fielder Ramon Laureano also was interviewed during a winner-take-all Game 3 on Thursday.

While the programming feature was welcomed during Spring Training (particularly with Dodgers third base coach Dino Ebel) and accepted during the regular season, it has largely been met by pushback for the postseason. Roberts in particular is not fond of them.

“I got wind of it about an hour before the game. Personally, I’m not a fan of it. I don’t know the arrangement and I learned late,” he said. “I don’t know.

“Baseball is kind of evolving, but I don’t know. I don’t know. That’s a decision Justin made, but I don’t see that happening with our guys going forward. Going forward I don’t want our guys to do that.”

Roberts putting an end to his players conducting in-game interviews was not an indictment on Turner. “I do think if there’s any player that can balance it and still be present, it is certainly Justin,” Roberts added.

Roberts also joked he would be open to Christian Yelich or any opposing player being interviewed mid-game.

Dodgers bound for NLDS, Texas

With their Game 2 win, the Dodgers advanced to the National League Division Series, where they await a winner from the San Diego Padres-St. Louis Cardinals matchup.

L.A. planned to depart for Dallas on Friday afternoon. Game 1 of the NLDS, which will be played at Globe Life Field, isn’t until Tuesday.

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