Dave Roberts, a former Dodger centerfielder and UCLA standout who spent the past five years as a San Diego Padres coach, was formally introduced Tuesday as the 10th manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, saying the post is his “dream job.”
Roberts’ hiring was announced last week.
“I went to school here, I’m a Southern California guy,” Roberts, 43, said at a Dodger Stadium news conference. “With this franchise, I’m a former Dodger. And I understand what it means to wear this uniform, and so I think, bluntly, this is my dream job.”
Andrew Friedman, Dodger president of baseball operations, said earlier that Roberts is a “baseball man” and a “people person” who will help the team achieve its “ultimate goal — bringing a world championship back to the city of Los Angeles.”
Friedman said today that Roberts impressed the team’s brass during the interview process.
“After the first-round interview, it was almost as if he had our answer key to the answers that we would have wanted to hear,” Friedman said. “To a man, everyone was blown away by who he is, what he represents. You can see the energy, see the enthusiasm and his ability to connect with people.”
As a player, Roberts was acquired by the Dodgers in December 2001, and he played for the team for 2 1/2 years. But he is perhaps best known for a stolen base while playing for Boston in Game 4 of the 2004 American League Championship Series. The steal sparked a historic comeback for the Red Sox against the New York Yankees and led to the franchise’s first World Series championship in 86 years.
Roberts, who has a black father and Japanese mother, is the first minority to serve as the Dodgers’ manager. He will be one of only three minorities to manage in the major leagues; the others are Dusty Baker, who was hired by the Washington Nationals this month, and Fredi Gonzalez of the Atlanta Braves.
Don Mattingly, who managed the Dodgers for the last five seasons but parted ways with the team at the end of this season, has been hired as manager of the Miami Marlins.
Roberts has no previous major league managerial experience.
—Staff and wire reports
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: