by Alex Poletti
After a disappointing NLDS loss in a World Series-or-bust season, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced that they do not intend to part ways with Dave Roberts, or their strategy of not having a bullpen for the 2020 season and beyond.
“We support Dave Roberts and all he has done for us the past few years,” Andrew Friedman, President of Baseball Operations, says. “He has one of the best managerial records in baseball history. He’s brought us to the playoffs four years in a row, including two pennants. And his constant mismanagement of the bullpen always has us wanting more.”
Though the Dodgers have been massively successful during his tenure, Roberts has developed a reputation for making iffy calls with regards to his bullpen, including pitching Brandon Morrow in each game of the 2017 World Series and continually opting for late-game appearances from playoff Clayton Kershaw.
“I’m very thankful that the Dodgers are sticking with me for 2020 and beyond,” Roberts says, who signed a four-year extension with Los Angeles last December. “I have the easiest job in Major League Baseball. I just get to sit in the dugout while a masterfully constructed team wins 100-plus games and then overmanage in the playoffs. It’s every manager’s dream.”
While the Dodgers won 106 games this year, they were knocked out earlier than ever before under their current management, losing a pivotal game five in extra innings against the Washington Nationals. Many blame the bullpen, who gave up six runs in three innings after Walker Buehler pitched a gem.
“A lot of people are criticizing our bullpen,” Friedman says. “I know a lot of teams are switching to become more bullpen-heavy, but I like our current system. We won 106 games without having a bullpen. I want to push this and see how far we can take this side of baseball.”
Despite keeping Roberts, the early exit is sure to shake up some things with the team. Friedman has already started thinking about how to adapt for next season and beyond.
“I think we’re going to get some players in free agency who are CPR-certified,” the baseball guru says. “That way we’ll at least have someone to help us recover from another postseason choke.”