Dave Roberts: Seoul Series Was ‘Absolute Plus’ For Dodgers

The initial leg of the 2024 MLB World Tour saw the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres play the first regular-season games in South Korea this week.

The teams split the two-game series at Gocheok Sky Dome and now head back to California to prepare for their domestic Opening Day, which is set for March 28.

While the earlier start to the regular season and long travel could be viewed as disadvantages to some, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts believes the Seoul Series was a position experience for his team. “Absolutely. It’s an absolute plus,” he began.

“Obviously we’d like to win two, but to come out of this series 1-1, keep our guys healthy, pray that both teams get home safely. You look at bringing Major League Baseball here to South Korea, it’s been a win for everyone.

“I can’t say enough how welcomed we felt here, the accommodations, the fans, the interest, the excitement. So yeah, it was absolutely successful.”

Roberts enjoyed all aspects of the South Korea trip and especially getting to mingle with the locals. “I think my favorite experience thus far has been interacting with the Korean people,” he said.

“The food has been amazing, the service impeccable and very attentive. The people are just so gracious. And watching our players, their significant others, some brought kids, and just to kind of see everyone out and about.

“Guys are going on excursions and trips together; we took a tour of the (Gyeongbokgung) palace [Monday]. So for me, that’s been a real bonding part of it. Kind of all encompassing.”

As MLB focuses on growing the game internationally, the Dodgers will likely be part of Opening Day 2025 in Japan as well. The planned series is expected to be played at the Tokyo Dome.

Dave Roberts didn’t focus on returning to Asia

Roberts, who was born in Japan, did not focus on the element of returning to Asia. “I haven’t let myself go there too much,” he said. “I sort of just try to be present here in Seoul, but we flew over Okinawa, Japan, where I was born and my mom was born.

“There’s a large Japanese contingent that’s been here, which has been fun for me. I’m trying to catch up on my Japanese, which I’ve got a long way to go. I pinch myself a lot thinking about being in this chair right now and I’m just very grateful to be here.”

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