Already in the midst of three consecutive National League West titles, the Los Angeles Dodgers have only extended their reign in the division since hiring Dave Roberts as manager prior to the 2016 season.
Roberts guided the Dodgers to another NL West title and first berth in the NL Championship Series since 2013 en route to being named Manager of the Year. The club additionally made back-to-back World Series appearances over the past two years.
But despite setting a franchise record 106 wins and boasting what Roberts identified as the best Dodgers team of all-time, they flamed out in the postseason. Getting eliminated by the Washington Nationals in the NL Division Series led to some speculation over Roberts’ job security.
That has quickly been put to bed as the indication is he will remain manager for the 2020 season. Not only is Roberts due to continue at the helm, the Dodgers reportedly never entertained parting ways, according to ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez:
Can confirm an earlier report from the LA Times that Dave Roberts will continue on as Dodgers manager. A source told me and Buster Olney that the subject of letting him go was not ever discussed.
After falling short in a heartbreaking Game 7 loss to the Houston Astros in the 2017 World Series and being overmatched by the Boston Red Sox last year, the Dodgers looked to defy MLB history by returning to the Fall Classic a third time after two consecutive defeats.
They were six outs from taking a step toward that when Roberts’ decision making with the bullpen arguably contributed heavily to the Nationals’ comeback. The missteps fueled speculation the Dodgers would consider a change, particularly with Joe Maddon among the available managers.
Even with a handful of curious decisions over the years, Roberts has established himself as one of the more successful managers. This year he became the first manager in MLB history to lead his team to division titles in each of his first four full seasons.
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’ hiring, the Dodgers had never won three straight NL West titles in franchise history. In 2016 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.