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Dodgers: Andrew Friedman Says No Staff Changes Coming in Wake of NLDS Debacle

When Dodgers general manager Brandon Gomes and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman met with the media on Tuesday for their annual end-of-season press conference, one of the major topics of conversation was manager Dave Roberts. After L.A.’s stunning loss to the Padres in the NLDS, many fans and pundits are calling for Roberts to lose his job.

As Jack Harris reports in the Los Angeles Times, Friedman was asked if Roberts would be returning as manager next season.

“One hundred percent,” he said.

The rest of the coaching staff likely will, as well.

“I don’t anticipate [any changes] right now,” he said.

That’s the marquee quote, and one that isn’t likely to please those who are calling for the manager’s head. But Friedman is a deep thinker and is sometimes quite frank with the media, and he elaborated on his reasoning.

Asked if the Dodgers could benefit from a new voice leading the team, Friedman rejected the suggestion.

“I don’t feel like that’s what we need,” Friedman said. “If we felt that a different voice was going to help us cash in on those situations with runners in scoring position — yeah, then maybe we would.

“There are those things that happen in the course of a game that I think is important to tease out — what part of it is baseball? What part of it is leaders?” he added. “I feel like Dave and his coaching staff did an incredible job during the regular season to lead this team to 111 wins. And I don’t feel like it’s a switch that was then turned off, or the players needed a different voice in those games. That’s my personal belief.”

None of which is to say Friedman is just burying his head in the sand and hoping things go better next year. He and his staff will spend the offseason trying to figure out how to make sure next year’s postseason is more successful than this year’s.

“In the regular season, we led baseball in every statistical category with runners in scoring position. In the series, we were not good,” he said. “The question is, is it baseball? Or are there things we can do to improve upon that?”

Some Dodger fans have called for “change for change’s sake,” with the idea that you have to shake up something — anything — to get different results. The problem with that approach is that change, in and of itself, isn’t a good thing. Change is not the goal, improvement is, and there’s little reason to think a change in management would keep the Dodgers from going 0-for-20 with runners in scoring position next October.

The thing that is likely to keep that from happening is the fact that it almost never happens, so the odds of it happening to the same team two years in a row are ridiculously low.

It’s not a satisfying answer, but it’s probably the correct one: The Dodgers suffered from some bad luck and the Padres pitchers made some excellent pitches. That’s why the Dodgers struggled with RISP and ultimately why they lost the NLDS. Dave Roberts and his coaching staff had nothing to do with it.

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7 Comments

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  1. Pitching is the key in the playoffs…not the offense! Friedman is bypassing the glaring problem with Roberts…is he that blind? Or maybe he thinks like little Davey.

    • Tommy Lasorda was able to make Hershizer believe he was the BullDog! He motivated his team to win, they had fire, grit, and would walk thru walls for him Roberts does none of this. This team was flat!! He constantly makes poor pitching changes. He is absolutely the reason this team feezes up in the offseason. We have the best players, we need the best coaches. If Roberts was in an avg team he would not last a year!! Don’t do the same thing and expect a different result!!!

  2. The problem with AF’s comment is that winning the regular season does not mean crap. I know that winning the division is a plus, but where has it gotten us. We just lost to a team that finished 23 games behind us in the standings! Roberts is not going to get us through the post season. He has mismanaged the Dodger pitching staff since he was hired.

    • Exactly, with the talent they had the regular season was a breeze especially in a weak division. But when it’s push comes to shove” in the postseason, Roberts don’t know how to adjust when Plan A is not working. Needed to change offensive philosophy after going 0 – 19 w/RISP. Beat the shift…..going oppo, shorten the swing to make contact, bunt, put runners in motion, apply pressure on the defense, go w/ 2-strike approach to get the run in. The Padres did that like textbook and took it to you. I liked when Trea bunted to get on, and the double steal w/ Trea and Freddie, albeit they did it on their own. But Muncy’s strikeout and JT’s groundout w/ RISP was terrible, Postseason is a different game w/ gut decisions on eye test and thinking outside of the box to be creative to win. The Padres just out coached and executed better than the Dodgers.

  3. AF comes out and says It’s the hottest team that wins in the post season, not the best team. Fair enough. But then the manager takes out the hot pitcher in the fifth inning. The Padres didn’t force him out, the Dodger manager did. And AF says he’s bringing his manager back. Can someone explain that to me? Or is AF talking out of both sides of his mouth?

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