Beleaguered Dodgers manager Roberts to return in 2024 despite continued October struggles
The Los Angeles Dodgers suffered yet another surprise postseason exit this October, but the organization is not holding manager Dave Roberts responsible. In fact, the Dodgers are bringing back Roberts — along with his entire coaching staff — for the 2024 MLB season.
The Dodgers‘ shocking NL Division Series sweep at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks ended their season earlier than many expected.
But Los Angeles still believes Roberts — who has led the Dodgers to the postseason in each of the past eight seasons — is the right man for the job, despite the team’s failure to return to the World Series since winning it in 2020k
Roberts had to navigate a number of unexpected injuries to his pitching staff this season, and Opening Day starter Julio Urias missed the final month of the campaign amid
allegations of domestic violence. Even with a group of pitchers that didn’t dominate to its usual standard, the Dodgers caught fire after the All-Star break and rolled to 100 wins on the strength of its offense.
Under Roberts’ stewardship, star hitters Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman had MVP-caliber seasons before struggling in the playoffs. The pair collected only one hit from 21 at-bats against the Diamondbacks, and a lineup that scored 906 runs in the regular season experienced a power outage at the worst time.
Still, Dodgers leadership is not blaming Roberts for the ill-timed cold spell, and the manager’s aggressive bullpen usage helped Los Angeles hang around in Games 2 and 3 of the NLDS.
The Dodgers have won at least 100 regular season games in each full-length season since 2019. They figure to linger near the top of the standings again in 2024, but with a careful eye on being better-prepared to play in October.
LA‘s only World Series championship since 1988 came during the COVID-shortened 2020 season, where postseason games were held at a neutral site (Arlington, Tx.) after a 60-game regular season
. It remains at the forefront of the Dodgers hierarchy’s minds that Roberts steered the ship toward that championship, and the 51-year-old — a former big leaguer himself — has garnered a tremendous amount of admiration for how he has handled a clubhouse full of stars.
“The one thing I can say with absolute certainty — and there aren’t many things I can do that about — as we postmortem, it was certainly not from a lack of effort,” president of baseball operations Andrew
Friedman told reporters on Tuesday. “Watching the way these guys prepared, cared, and did everything they could to put themselves in the best position to go out and have success.”