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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