Monday, March 7, 2016

Dave Roberts Read My Mind

Roberts just might have ESP, haha!
Dodger manager Dave Roberts just made his first great move of the spring, and it makes me wonder if he has ESP (see my post from yesterday). I'm kidding. This move was pretty obvious, but one that former manager Don Mattingly refused to make the past two seasons, much to the detriment of the team. Left fielder Carl Crawford was told he should expect to be coming off the bench this season as primarily a pitch hitter or spot starter. So, Andre Ethier, it looks like you can unpack your suitcase--you finally have a manager that believes in you.

Stick it, Mattingly!
(photo courtesy of Cindy Murphy)
While Roberts hasn't officially named Ethier his regular left fielder, for all intents and purposes he has done just that by telling Crawford he is going to be a role player this season. As Scott Van Slyke has primarily been working out at first base, the assumption is that when he plays, it will be to spell Adrian Gonzalez or take over for Ethier when the team faces a tough left handed pitcher (Van Slyke bats right handed). Apparently, Crawford took the news well, understanding that Ethier earned the starting position with two solid years of play when Crawford was out healing from a multitude of injuries. 

The fact Crawford is okay with the decision and Ethier is getting his due should give Dodger fans a reason to to relax a bit, maybe even feel good. It's a strange feeling, after the last few years, to be sure. Clearly, in his short time managing the team, Roberts is going about the job in the right way. Despite playing his way into the left field starting job last season, Ethier never seemed to be able to earn Mattingly's respect, culminating in that ugly dugout shouting match during last year's playoffs with the Mets. Roberts, on the other hand, is already showing Ethier he believes in him by giving him the nod. Even more importantly, Crawford's positive reaction to the demotion speaks to the idea that the team's chemistry under Roberts is on its way to thriving for the first time in, well, decades.

This is the first of many high-fives I hope to be giving Roberts this year. 

Come one, come all!
One last item for today: For those of you reading my blog for the first time and found me through, a very hearty WELCOME to you--really glad to have you along along for the ride. For my readers that haven't checked out Ernest Reyes', then get on over there right now, especially if you are interested in checking out Dodger collectibles.


  1. It's about frickin' time! Ethier is way too good to not be the everyday player. And I think the more cuts he has this season (without having to look over his shoulder at Donnie waiting to yank him), we're going to see Ethier's hitting really come on.

  2. Also, according to my new friend from Spring Training, Cindy Murphy, amazing photographer, Dodger Super Fan, and annual pilgram to Camelback Ranch, Donnie seemed to spend more time reliving his playing days at spring training rather than really evaluating the talent. In contrast, Dave Roberts was humming bird, running from field to field, really checking out his players and encouraging them ("Good trabajo, Yasiel"). He was a man on a mission. Great sight to see. So excited for the season to start!