(Photo Credit: Jon SooHoo)
Roberts received 16 of 30 first-place votes, joining Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda as the only managers in Dodgers history to win the award since its inception in 1983. Roberts, the first African-American manager in franchise history, was also named as Sporting News’ manager of the year in late October.
“I’d like to thank the BBWAA for this honor,” Roberts told reporters. “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.”
President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman passed along many kind words in Roberts’ favor not long after the winner was revealed.
“Congratulations to Dave Roberts on becoming just the second Dodger to win the Manager of the Year,” Friedman stated. “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. Congratulations to Dave and his amazing family on an incredibly, special accomplishment.”
The 44-year-old rookie manager took the Dodgers from a season-high eight-game divisional deficit in late June to a 91-71 record and a fourth consecutive National League West title, joining Lasorda as the only rookie managers ever to lead Los Angeles to a division championship. In the postseason, the Dodgers defeated the 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 guided the Dodgers through injury and adversity, using a franchise record 55 players and 31 different pitchers, while the club placed 28 different players on the disabled list, the most for any team in the last 30 years. During the course of the regular season, Roberts made a MLB-record 606 pitching changes, navigating his bullpen to the second-lowest ERA in the Majors and through 590.2 innings pitched, the most in the Majors this year and the most in club history. Under Roberts’ leadership, Los Angeles led the National League with 46 comeback victories — second most in the Majors behind only the Rangers’ 49.
Joe Maddon of the Cubs finished second in the balloting, followed by Dusty Baker of the Nationals. Don Mattingly of the Marlins, who managed the Dodgers from 2011 through 2015, ended up fifth in the voting.
(Dai Sugiura furnished the majority of information provided in this report)