Is Dave Roberts a steal as Dodgers new manager?
A lot of people don’t know that writers — or writers who have editors, anyway — usually don’t write their own headlines. And sometimes something gets lost in the translation, for which the writer is usually blamed.
But what happens when the headline perfectly reflects the story … but someone translates the headline into a tweet!
Getting Dave Roberts as their manager is a steal for the Los Angeles Dodgers. https://t.co/NESBQFyLl0Article continues below ...
— Baseball Tonight (@BBTN) November 23, 2015
See, the headline on Mark Saxon’s story is
Another great steal for next Dodgers manager, Dave Roberts
… the implication being that first he stole that big base against the Yankees in the playoffs, and now he’s stolen this big job from Gabe Kapler.
Which is clever. It’s just not anything like the same thing as saying this is a steal for the Dodgers. Since how can anyone know that yet?
Answer: Nobody can. Saxon on the nose:
We don’t yet know what Roberts’ philosophies will be, whether he will be a skilled late-game strategic thinker and how he will handle Yasiel Puig or any other challenging personalities on his club. We only know that somebody in a position of authority — or, maybe everyone in a position of authority — found Roberts so impressive that they decided to give him one of the most prestigious titles in the game. He is next in a line that includes Walter Alston and Tommy Lasorda, but that has become a veritable rotating door compared to when those guys managed.
I suspect that Roberts will be a fine manager, but you don’t know for sure until someone’s, you know, actually managed. I couldn’t help being amused by the thought of Maury Wills as Roberts’ mentor, considering that the hiring of Maury Wills as manager in 1980 might be the single worst move in the history of the Seattle Mariners. And like Wills, Roberts is a first-time manager best-known for his baserunning exploits.
Of course, Wills mentored Roberts as a baserunner, not as a manager. And I’ll bet the Dodgers did a lot more work on this one than the Mariners did, 35 years ago.
But we just can’t know yet. The Dodgers have hired a lot of managers since Lasorda, and I’m sure all of them seemed wonderfully qualified at the time.