The Los Angeles Dodgers Monday will announce Dave Roberts as the team’s new manager, according to a variety of news reports.
The hiring first was reported by the Los Angeles Times.
Roberts, 43, a former Dodger outfielder, is a 10-year major league veteran.
He spent the past five years on the coaching staff of the Dodgers National Western Division foe San Diego Padres.
Roberts — whose father is black and mother is of Japanese descent — would be the first minority manager in the history of the Dodgers, the franchise that broke major league baseball’s all-white color line in 1947 by signing Jackie Robinson.
The Dodgers and Roberts were still working out details of his contract tonight, according to reports.
The Dodgers offered no comment about Roberts when asked by City News Service.
Roberts perhaps is best known for stealing second base in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the 2004 American League that sparked a Boston Red Sox win and a subsequent comeback from a three-games-to-zero deficit to win four straight games and snatch the American League pennant from the New York Yankees.
The Red Sox went on to win the World Series that year, its first world title since 1918.
Roberts replaces Don Mattingly, who managed the Dodgers the past five seasons.
Mattingly led the Dodgers to Western Division titles the past three seasons, but the teams’ failures to advance to the World Series led to disappointment from fans and team officials.
Mattingly and the Dodgers parted company following the team’s first-round playoff loss to the New York Mets.
Several days later, Mattingly signed a four-year contract to manage the Miami Marlins.
Roberts, who won a fight with Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosed in early 2010, will inherit from Mattingly a yoke of high expectations for the Dodgers, a team deemed to be a playoff contender again next season.
The task will be made more difficult with the probable departure of star pitcher Zack Greinke, who is a free agent and is likely to play somewhere else in 2016.
The Dodger hierarchy also appears ready to juggle the team’s lineup during the off-season.
— City News Service