Dodgers Team News

Dave Roberts Challenges Dodgers on First Day of Full-Squad Workouts

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is one of the best managers of people you’ll find in the game of baseball, so his annual speech to the team on the first day of full-squad workouts is always something to look forward to. His 2023 version was no different, as he focused on the players taking personal responsibility to battle through the grind and focus on improving themselves each day.

“First off, this is a new year. This group, like I said, is a hungry group, a focused group — I love this group. I love this team. And it’s gonna be fun to watch you guys come together. …

“Let’s go out there and be the Dodgers, play together, and get better each day. …

“And each individual — myself included — has gotta find a way to channel that focus and be able to sustain it, not only today, when this is the first day of workouts where everyone’s excited to see everybody, it’s great, energy’s good. But there’s going to be a point in spring training where it gets monotonous, it’s the same thing, it gets tiresome, it gets to be a grind. But we all have to, individually, collectively, default to still focusing on getting better that particular day. …

“Find out how to love practice, enjoy it, love it, love the grind, and ask yourselves, ‘Are we in, or are we out?'”

It’s a different team heading into spring training, the first time in 10 years Justin Turner won’t be there and the first time in seven years there’s no Cody Bellinger. It’s not a total upheaval, as Mookie Betts is somehow already going into his fourth spring training with Los Angeles and Freddie Freeman gets to do his first full spring with the team. And, of course, longtime mainstays like Clayton Kershaw, Austin Barnes, Will Smith, Max Muncy, Chris Taylor, and others bring a sort of continuity to the team.

As Roberts says, though, it’s up to each individual. Baseball is a team sport that’s really just made up of a bunch of individual performances, so each player needs to provide the best individual performances he can.

Spring training has officially started, and we’ll get our first games later this week. Spring is in the air, and it’s a wonderful thing.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.

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