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Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Finally Admits What Was Clear From Postseason Loss

When the Dodgers lost to the Padres in the NLDS, one of the most striking things was how much more fired up the San Diego players seemed than the guy in the other dugout. Even when the Dodgers did get the rare hit with runners in scoring position to bring in a run or two, the emotion didn’t seem to flow as easily as it did for the Padres.

In his meeting with the press at the Winter Meetings on Tuesday, L.A. manager Dave Roberts was asked whether that dynamic contributed to the shocking series loss.



Reporter: “I think one thing that served you guys well, you have a lot of guys that are even-keeled. I know Mookie on the elimination day was like it’s another type of game type thing. But in October, do you kind of need to have that NFL Sunday type of mindset? Would something like that help?”

Roberts: “I think there’s some truth to that. As a manager, you never want to say that somebody wants it more than you because I think that speaks to the preparation part of it, the mental part of it.

But I will say that you look at that dugout versus our dugout, there was more intensity there. And so not asking guys to be outside of who they are. But that sense of the ultimate sense of urgency each pitch, I think that we’re going to make sure that that’s noted, because I do think the retrospect, the postmortem, kind of looking at it, I sensed it. I sensed it. So that part of it, I think that I’ve got to certainly take ownership of for sure.”

Question: “Was that a need this winter to maybe go out find that type of guy?”

Roberts: “I think that’s more — not necessarily, I think the personnel was there. I think it’s more of bringing that message to light and that’s my job.”

There’s a lot more to winning in the postseason than being fired up. In 2020, the Padres were much more intense and emotional than the Dodgers, and L.A. swept San Diego in three games. In the 2022 NLDS, if L.A. had gone 4-for-20 with RISP in Games 2 and 3 instead of 0-for-20, they’d have swept the series. Was a lack of intensity the reason they didn’t get those hits?

If the Dodgers had won the series, they’d have been praised for not getting too high or too low, a businesslike series win by a team confident enough in their own skills to not need that emotion. Because they lost, the narrative turns to the lack of fire.

Early in 2022, Dylan Hernandez wrote that the Angels were a much more exciting team than the Dodgers. That was probably true. They also finished 38 games worse than the Dodgers. The Padres had more fire and emotion in their regular-season matchups with L.A., too, and they lost 14 out of 19 games.

If Roberts believes more intensity would have helped Los Angeles hit better with runners in scoring position, then yes, it needs to be addressed. And yes, maybe L.A. drifted too far into the “businesslike wins” lane in 2022. But they hit the ball hard with RISP, just right at people. Will Smith’s sac fly in Game 4 easily could have been a three-run double. There were a couple hard shots that Manny Machado snared at third.

The reason they lost the series was poor performance with RISP, and the unsatisfying truth is that it mostly comes down to luck. We might feel better if they’d shown more fire, but it’s not clear they’d have played better.

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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. He's been blogging about baseball and the Dodgers 2004 and doing it professionally since 2015. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.

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16 Comments

  1. Isn’t Roberts talking about HIS job? If that is a factor why let Kike, Joc, and Hanser go? They were contributors and cheap too.

  2. Dave Roberts admitted that the team (his team) was not mentally prepared. Why? Also, he didn’t mention the misuse of the pitching staff. It’s his pitching staff !!!!!!!

  3. Dave Roberts again proved he’s not a post season manager at all , proof has been there over his tenure , he chokes every yr,

  4. We should have hired dusty baker when he was available. With all the talent we have had, we would probably have 4 or 5 rings by now.

  5. Roberts is a front office puppet. Says and does what he is told. And botches the in game decisions he is allowed to make.

  6. What a effin punk, a manager that blames the players. He is supposed to set the tone for the team. He deserves no respect in that dugout at all. He just threw his team under the bus. He has lost that team for good.

  7. When they lost game 2 game 3 is need to win to get home field back and they started Gonsolin who wasn’t ready. It should have been T Anderson, who did pitch game 4 and looked great and pulled him early for a bullpen guy who hadn’t thrown much. They lost it in game 3 and 4 over that DA Roberts

  8. Talk about a load of BS. Now an argument might be made that the long layoff made them rusty, but many people just aren’t the rah rah type. Doesn’t mean they don’t care, they might take it just as hard or harder than the more demonstrative types, but it just means they don’t wear their hearts on the sleeves. Want a cheerleader, higher a cheerleader. Want a ballplayer, hire a ballplayer. Some people try as hard as they can, but don’t make any noise about it.

    1. Mike, you could be right but the whole presentation for a playoff game did not look good. Being “even-keeled” or “ business- like” shows a look of complacency, no sense of urgency when facing adversity. I don’t know about you, but I rather play on a team that’s jumping up & down, having fun, and having each other’s back. That generates energy and momentum, instead of being laid back and waiting for something to happen. Even if Roberts or whoever screws up, that should be added incentive to try to overcome. There’s a lack of a team captain (JT ?) with “not on my watch we lose” attitude.

      1. The manager bad mouthing his team in the press, particularly with himself a large part of the problem with pitching decisions. Is the work of a cowardly management puppet. I have not been on the fire Roberts team. But that team knows he is a sell out punk now, that they can’t trust.

  9. Roberts is a load of bs. They will never win a full year w.s. with him. He couldn’t win a girl’s high school game with out screwing something up, and the g.m. isn’t any smarter.

  10. HE ,DAVE ROBERTS, HAS LOST A LOT OF IMPORTANT GAMES! HIS PITCHING DECISIONS ARE HORRIBLE ! REMOVING TYLER ANDERSON WAS A REALLY
    BAD MOVE….HE SHOULD BE FIRED !!!!!

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