Candid: Dodgers' Dave Roberts opens up on overcoming postseason heartbreaks, bouncing back for 2023

Over the course of the 2022 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers appeared to be the team of destiny. The Boys in Blue put together the best regular season in franchise history, hosted the Midsummer Classic in July and was on a mission to honor the late broadcast legend Vin Scully by putting together the "Win For Vin" postseason slogan.

The stars appeared all aligned for the Dodgers before falling flat to the NL West rival San Diego Padres in the Division Series.

As part of FOX 11’s series, Candid, sports anchor Kyle Kraska sat down with the Dodgers skipper to discuss how he overcame the postseason heartbreaks, his reaction to fans wanting him out and his plans to put together a bounce-back season for 2023.

2022 Collapse

When the 2022 postseason run ended as abruptly as it did in a 5-game series, Roberts admitted at the time that he was stunned by the outcome.

"Shock factor, very high. Disappointment, very high. It's crushing right now. It just stings a lot more in the moment. I don't know how long it's going to take," he said in an Oct. 15 postgame interview.

Even to this day, Roberts said it was among the toughest losses he had faced in baseball.

"I've been a part of losing Game 7, some other tough losses. But I think this is up there just with the season that we had, the expectations going into the postseason, how successful we were at the regular season. And so to not even get through the first round, very disappointing," he said in his interview with Kraska.


Roberts said he and his wife spent a part of the offseason in London after the season to "get away from all the noise."

While the season ended in a shocking fashion, Roberts said it was important for him "as a professional in baseball" to move on.

"You've got to find a way to reset, learn from it, and try to make your trek back up the mountain again," he said.

‘The World’s Not Going to End’                     

While the Dave Roberts era delivered the 2020 World Series title, the Dodger skipper has endured some of the most crushing losses in recent history. One of the painful postseason memories include the 2017 Fall Classic, which happened to be against a team in the Houston Astros that would later be at the center of a cheating scandal.

How did Roberts get over the loss?

"Kind of knowing that the world is not going to end," the Dodger skipper said.

Roberts credited his faith to help him overcome the heartbreaking Game 7 loss.

"To have something to hang your hat on, your soul on my faith is something that gets me through each day, each year. And you talk about criticisms and failures or not winning and all this kind of stuff. I go back to my faith. And so that's for me personally and my family. And that's something that if I didn't have, I don't think I'd be sitting here in front of you right now," he said.

Roberts also said the news of the Astros’ cheating allegations partially softened the blow of losing the 2017 World Series.

"I don't think we could have done much different. I think we handled it personally as an organization," he said.

Not Looking For a Pity Party

In Boston, Roberts is considered a hero for his pivotal role in the 2004 Red Sox postseason run. In Los Angeles, a section of Dodger fans have, for years, called for Roberts to get fired. 

Is that fair?

"Probably not," Roberts said of the criticism. "Is it part of the job? Absolutely. And fans are entitled to their opinion. But I think that it's one of those things, as the manager of the Dodgers, the expectation is to win the World Series every year."

"I'm not going to throw a pity party. I'm not looking for one," he added.

The criticism against Roberts comes despite the fact that he has one of the most impressive regular-season résumés in MLB history. In seven seasons as the Dodger manager, Roberts put together a 653-380 regular-season record, three National League pennants and a World Series ring.

He understands the pressure that comes with managing the Dodgers, but was quick to point out that there is also a long and thorough process that comes with delivering postseason results.

"I heard a great quote from Coach [Nick] Saban at Alabama, and I'm sure he has the same expectations with his fan base as well he should. But he said that the last time I checked, I don't remember seeing the National Championship game on our schedule. And so it's funny that the World Series isn't on our schedule. And I just checked it the other day looking at my potential road trip. So, you know, there's a lot of work, you know, part of the journey, the process and getting to the regular season as a player, as a former player, as a manager."

Roberts added it’s not healthy to talk too much about the finish line.

You’ve got to get there and go through the grind, the ups and downs to get there. So our goal still is to win the National League West and it is not a rite of passage. And we'll have this conversation if we're fortunate to do this.