One week after being eliminated by the New York Mets in the 2015 National League Division Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Don Mattingly mutually agreed to part ways. That set the Dodgers on an exhaustive search to find the club’s new manager.
At least nine candidates interviewed for the position, including Gabe Kapler, Bud Black, Dave Roberts, Darin Erstad and Dave Martinez, among others. The one-month process led to Roberts being tabbed for his first managerial role.
He’s been the subject of criticism, like any other manager, but has been part of the Dodgers reaching new franchise heights with each passing season. Roberts’ latest accomplishment came with the club securing a seventh consecutive National League West title on Tuesday night.
As such, Roberts became the first manager in MLB history to lead his team to division titles in each of his first four full seasons at the helm. In 2016, Roberts joined Tommy Lasorda (1977) as the only rookie managers in franchise history to guide the Dodgers to a division title.
Prior to 2015, the season before Roberts’ took over, the Dodgers had never won three straight division titles in franchise history. The following year they became the first team to win the NL West in four consecutive seasons since the Divisional Era began in 1969 — a record that’s now been extended to seven.
Overall, the Dodgers’ streak trails only the Atlanta Braves (14) and New York Yankees (nine) for most consecutive division titles since 1969.
In 2015 the Dodgers reached the postseason for a third consecutive season, which set a franchise record that also is now up to seven years. Meanwhile, the 2019 Dodgers became the fastest team in L.A. franchise history to clinch the division by both date and games played.
They did so in the 146th game of the season, which bested the 1977 club that wrapped up the division in their 151st game. The 2013 Dodgers memorably clinched the NL West at Chase Field on Sept. 19, which before Tuesday held as the earliest date during the current seven-year reign.
Additionally, this year’s Dodgers finished off the NL West by the largest margin in franchise history with an 18-game lead in the division. The previous franchise mark in a clinching game was held by the 1955 team that won the NL by 13.5 games and went on to win the World Series as well.
Although Roberts’ tenure as manager has not included a World Series win up to this point, it’s been one of the more successful careers thus far. Roberts’ 381 wins rank eighth all-time in franchise history, and he’s poised to surpass Jim Tracy (427 wins) and Mattingly (446) next season.