Los Angeles Dodgers rookie manager Dave Roberts was named the National League’s Manager of the Year in voting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
“I’d like to thank the BBWAA for this honor,” said Roberts. “I am humbled by this award. I’d like to congratulate Joe Maddon and Dusty Baker, who are not only great managers, but connect with their players in a way that I deeply respect. I share this award with the players, coaches and front office, who made me look good on a daily basis. Finally, I’d like to thank my family who has been with me every step of the way.”
Roberts, who received 16 of 30 first-place votes, joins Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda (1983, ’88) as the only managers in club history to win the award since its inception in 1983. He had no big league managerial experience prior to being hired.
Roberts, the first African-American manager in franchise history, was also named as Sporting News’ manager of the year.
The 44-year-old first-year manager took the Dodgers from a season-high 8.0-game divisional deficit in late June to a 91-71 record and a fourth consecutive National League West title, joining Tommy Lasorda (1977) as the only rookie managers ever to lead Los Angeles to a division championship.
In the postseason, the Dodgers defeated the Washington Nationals, 3-2, in the Division Series, before falling to the Cubs in six games in the National League Championship Series.
“Dave did an excellent job in his first year of managing in the big leagues,” said Lasorda. “With the number of injuries the team faced last season, Dave showed he could handle adversity and he motivated his players and kept them together for the ultimate goal—a championship. He has a very bright future as a Major League manager and I wish him all the success in the world with the Dodgers.”
Roberts piloted the Dodgers through injury and adversity, using a franchise record-tying 55 players and 31 different pitchers, while the club placed 28 different players on the DL, the most for any team in the last 30 years. During the course of the regular season, Roberts made a Major League-record 606 pitching changes, navigating his bullpen to the second-lowest ERA in the Majors (3.35) and through 590.2 innings pitched, the most in the Majors this year and also the most in franchise history.
Under Roberts’ leadership, Los Angeles led the National League with 46 comeback victories – second most in the Majors behind only the Rangers’ 49.
Roberts also proved to be outstanding in the postseason, as his choices on pinch hitters proved fruitful time and again. More importantly, he displayed a willingness to do whatever was necessary to win, using Clayton Kershaw out of the bullpen, and asking closer Kenley Jansen to pitch earlier than his customary ninth-inning duties.
“Congratulations to Dave Roberts on becoming just the second Dodger to win the Manager of the Year,” said Dodger President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman. “Doc has a great baseball mind, is a great communicator, possesses endless energy and is relentlessly optimistic. He has been remarkably consistent since the first day of spring training which is extremely difficult to do in the roller-coaster ride that is a Major League season. He was able to maintain that through our low points as well as our high points."
The complete BBWAA voting results are below:
Manager, Club 1st 2nd 3rd Points
Dave Roberts, Dodgers 16 7 7 108
Joe Maddon, Cubs 8 8 6 70
Dusty Baker, Nationals 4 12 10 66
Terry Collins, Mets 2 3 5 24
Don Mattingly, Marlins 2 2
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services