The Los Angeles Dodgers ended their four-week-long, thorough managerial search with the hiring of former Major Leaguer Dave Roberts.
The former San Diego Padres’ bench coach beat out perennial favorite Dodgers director of player development Gabe Kapler.
Those who have been around Roberts have vouched for the kind of person the 43 year old is.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said the club’s new manager has a strong combination of baseball and people skills, while Adrian Gonzalez believes Roberts’ playing career will lend well to the manager connecting with players.
Along with detailing the search process that he called a collective effort, Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten became the latest to praise Roberts in an interview with MLB Network Radio:
“Anyone who knows Dave, you’ve just captured him in three brief little words (energy, character, ability to connect with players). All of that is important, let’s not forget though his experience in the game, knowledge and understanding of the game, how to motivate players and teammates, all of that bodes very well for us. The fact that he kind of is a local product — UCLA graduate, former Dodger — those were nice things in addition, but those certainly weren’t what the decision was based on. All the traits you mentioned, his high integrity, high character, his positive, high energy, high work ethic, all of those things we think are great qualities for a manager and we think he’s going to lead us to a lot of success in the future.”
Roberts joins the Dodgers without previous managerial experience — though he did manage the Padres for one game on an interim basis after the team fired Bud Black.
Friedman and Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi stated at the outset of the search lack of experience wouldn’t be a hindrance as the front office was focused more on finding a manager with strong leadership skills.
Roberts is expected to be formally introduced to the media on Tuesday, Dec. 1. His managerial debut will come against the Padres at Petco Park on April, 4, 2016 in a game that will be nationally televised by ESPN.