Dodgers News: Adrian Gonzalez Endorses Dave Roberts Hire
Adrian Gonzalez
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Since being traded by the Boston Red Sox to the Los Angeles Dodgers in August 2012, Adrian Gonzalez has only played under Don Mattingly.

With the Dodgers and Mattingly announcing a mutual separation on Oct. 22, Gonzalez was guaranteed to have a new manager for the first time with the Dodgers.

A thorough search led by Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman concluded Monday with the club announcing the hire of Dave Roberts as the 28th manager in franchise history.

Roberts beat out fellow finalist and Dodgers director of player development Gabe Kapler, whom many identified as the favorite during the early stages of the managerial search.

Roberts, who worked as the San Diego Padres bench coach over the last two seasons, is the first minority manger in Dodgers history, and will be a rookie field leader in 2016.

Despite the inexperience, it was previously reported the one-time Dodgers outfielder received support for his hire from veteran players on the team; Kapler shared a strong message praising Roberts after the decision was announced.

Several current and former players have also joined in on speaking highly of Roberts. Included in that group is Gonzalez, who believes Roberts’ experience as a player will be beneficial, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:

“He’s a guy that has played all kinds of roles,” Gonzalez said. “He was a fourth and fifth outfielder. He was a starter. He had a few really good seasons. He’s a guy that’s come off the bench and done incredible things. He’s going to be able to relate to a lot of the situations that players are in.”

Beyond what Roberts went through during his playing days, Gonzalez also spoke highly of the kind of person his new manager is:

“He’s probably the best human being I’ve ever met,” Gonzalez said. “People see that and people respond to that.” Describing the famously upbeat Roberts as socially adaptable, Gonzalez said, “He can connect to every individual person. He understands what works with whom.”

In announcing Roberts as the Dodgers’ next manager, Friedman called the 43 year old a “baseball man” and “people person” and said Roberts bring with him an infectious energy. While Roberts has enjoyed a groundswell of support, he’ll ultimately be judged by on-field results.

The Dodgers, having won three consecutive National League West division titles for the first time in franchise history, and posting three straight seasons of at least 90 wins for the first time since 1976-78, last reached and won a World Series in 1988.