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Dodgers: Football Talking Head Says Dave Roberts is a Front-Office Puppet

Rich Eisen is a well-known sports commentator, having spent seven years at ESPN before spending the last 19 years at the NFL Network. He’s also had his own sports talk radio show, the cleverly named “Rich Eisen Show,” for the past eight years.

On his show this week, Eisen talked about Dave Roberts and said, among other things, that Roberts won’t be fired because “what he does is he does what management tells him to do.”

Check out the clip below, starting around the 1:30 mark.

Eisen’s assertion is that Roberts has no say over any decisions made during a ballgame. It comes across as one of those classic sports talk radio points: just “edgy” enough that it feels edgy, but then you look deeper and realize it’s the same thing everybody says, so really it’s “how edgy can I be while making sure all my listeners agree with me?” (AKA “The Jim Rome Model.”)

Of course, Roberts works closely with the Dodgers front office, and of course that’s part of why the front office loves him. What Eisen seems to miss, though, is that that’s actually a good thing. In fact, the areas where Roberts has struggled have probably been where he could have used some more real-time input from the nerds upstairs, who could have told him “Use a few of your eight rested relievers instead of Kershaw” in 2019, and maybe even “You don’t have to pull every starting pitcher after five innings” last weekend.

Roberts is a company man, for sure, but it’s disrespectful, condescending, and not supported by evidence to say he doesn’t actually do anything as manager.

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30 Comments

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  1. Your wrong he is a puppet. Who do you think tells him to take out a pitcher after five innings the front office. There stupid numbers tell him not to let a pitcher face the opposing lineup Three times even if the pitcher is doing fine. Everything Roberts does comes from upstairs and that’s wrong. A manager has to feel the game and manege from his gut once and while. He was a player he should know better. He got the most prestigious job in baseball with no experience. How and hell did that happen. First he’s comes cheap and he told Friedman that what ever he says will be done. Yes he’s a puppet.

      • Dodgers Nation is full of Dave Roberts apologists. Wouldn’t surprise me if they too get their directives from the Dodgers FO ? Eisen and just about every other fan who understands the game is right tho. Until they get a good game manager instead of a Yes Man, the Dodgers will continue to disappoint. The man gets out-managed every postseason. It’s uncanny and every other manager knows that if you just wait him out, Dave will sooner or later make a game costing decision because he has absolutely no feel for the game whatsoever. He’s made some of the worst decisions in postseason play that inhqvé ever seen. And don’t even get me started on how soft he is. The guy has zero fire in him and inspires nobody. In fact, his overly laid back approach just ends up rubbing off on the guys and you see guys like Mookie going on Kimmel and basically saying he’s baseballed out after a long season, never mentioning how much he looks forward to competing for another championship. But worst of all, he never takes responsibility when pressed about his boneheaded mistakes. Perhaps that’s the biggest sign that he’s nothing but a puppet.

    • Man you should have someone proofread your posts. The amount of misspelled words in your rant is amazing. Makes sense that you’re a Dodgers fan.

    • I’ve been saying this since 2017 and all I got was Giant Pidgeon Droppings on my head. Glad to see everyone has caught up.

  2. The writer is offended by the truth. Dave Roberts got hired, when no one else was looking at him as a manager, because he agreed to be their puppet.

    • Now Texas gets the Manager we should have hired Bochy. If he could win 3 WS with SFs crap lineups. Imagine what he could do with real talent. Now I see Texas as a real threat to sign Kershaw.

  3. Roberts is a good man good manager and person.its so easy for Anyone to talk down about a person loses.he is human and he will make mistakes like we all do .he puts in players who make millions to do what they are paid to do.he don’t bat run or field he put the millionaires in a spot to earn there money and come through.

  4. Dave Roberts is the right guy for the base coach position. The owner group appointed him manager and that’s the beginning of the problem.

  5. Roberts must go or it will be more October disappointment. I cannot believe that Magic Johnson and company would sit by and do nothing about it!

  6. How many more excuses will you make for Roberts? You must assume we are blind and have no common sense. This isn’t something new for Roberts, he has a history of pulling these stunts. Was it not Roberts that pulled Anderson, up 3-0 on a must win game? Was it not Roberts that kept putting Jansen in only for him to give up the game? Was it not Roberts that put in Scherzer in game 2 last year with an overused arm, when he had Buehler?

    Do us a favor and stop with the buffalo chips!

  7. You’re right to a point Jeff. That snippet was designed to be an inflammatory talk radio soundbite. A better more constructive criticism might be to say that Roberts and the FO need to watch games more with their eyes than their stat sheet. The law of averages that analytics is based on works over 162 games, not so much in a best of 5. Billy Beane once said out of frustration after having lost in another early playoff exit. “My bleep doesn’t work in the post season!” Or something like that. The problem isn’t that the Dodgers planning is poor, it’s their inability to quickly change the plan to fit real time circumstance.

  8. Memo to commenters. Sorry you can’t have it both ways. You can’t say Roberts is a puppet, then in the next breath say you want him fired for making bad decisions!

  9. If it’s true that Roberts is a puppet, not only do we need a new puppet, but we need a new puppeteer as well. Kukla, Fran and Ollie come to mind.

  10. Then he should be replaced if he’s the one making the horrible pitching decisions…every stinking year when it counts.

    • Same ole same ole last 6 out of 7 years (2016 – 2022), for this P.O.B.O. & manager. I guess easy money trumps World Series championships!
      Wash, rinse, repeat. Probably 7 out of 8 after next years season.

  11. I just think it’s ok to not let your starting pitcher go the distance during the regular season only. Your in the playoffs and if you have a starting pitcher that’s got a team blanked for 5 freaking innings and the opposition so far cannot get anything going against him I’m riding my pitcher until he starts to gas out.

  12. Dave Roberts, where he is the worst
    he will take a pitcher out, when in
    5 or 6 inning, he has’nt allowed no
    runs maybe a couple hits and they
    get bombd

  13. Well, we’ve seen a large enough sample size to say with certainty that DR is a horrible manager of pitching in the postseason. What will the FO do to address it? Probably nothing. At a minimum, the Dodgers need to scrutinize their approach to postseason pitching. Remember in the 90s how much Joe Torre leaned on Mel Stottlemyre in crunch time with tough pitching decisions? The same with Bobby Cox and Leo Mazzone. And although they didn’t win every postseason series, they sure won most of them. The Dodgers have nothing resembling that kind of approach and they’ll continue to suffer for it as long as they ignore the 800 lb gorilla in the room. This year clearly should have been their time to shine (+334 run differential, most runs scored, least runs allowed, mostly healthy in Oct, etc), but instead it’s 4 playoff games and out. It’s embarrassing and pathetic and it’s time to discuss that gorilla.

    • He is a horrible manager. I’m sure he’s a cool guy and probably a very decent person, but that in no way qualifies him as a manager. He is out coached in almost every game. The Dodgers have the best team money can buy and anything less than a trip to the WS is a failure. A perfect example is their extra innings record over the last 3 seasons. Both teams start with a runner on 2nd and they only score that runner less than 50% of the time; league average is 78% of the time. Their record in extra inning games over that span is like 10 wins and 30 losses. That’s called being out coached. He makes at least 2 or 3 decisions a game that make you question if he’s a total fool. And if you have a top 3 fastest guy in the league, why did he only still 27 bases when he had 196 hits.?

  14. MAN… LAY OFF OF DAVE ROBERTS!
    ROBERTS IS HANDS DOWN THE BEST SKIPPER IN MLB. THE DODGERS LINEUP WENT COLD. THAT’S IT. IT HAPPENS. GO DODGERS.
    FAN IN THE EAST

  15. I have a great idea, find a killer Centerfielder and put Cody Bellinger to manage the team. We don’t know if Bellinger will ever get his swagger back but he could Managing.

  16. Worst playoff pitcher manager with amazing talent. Puts too much pressure on the lineup because of his pitcher mismanagement.

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