GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dave Roberts' first bit of advice for his new team: Hard work helps to achieve your goals.
The Los Angeles Dodgers' new manager gathered his pitchers and catchers in the club’s spring training clubhouse Saturday morning and gave his first address in advance of the club’s first workout.
“It was just sincere as far as our goal to get better every day and what it takes,” Roberts said. “Everybody has the goal to win a championship, but there is a lot of work between now and then that we have to account for. That was pretty much the message.”
Roberts is planning another team address next week before the first full-squad workout. Saturday’s talk, as well as next week’s, are primarily for Roberts and his coaching staff to set a tone for the long season ahead.
“After that, it’s more upon the players to take hold of the clubhouse themselves,” said Roberts, who added that he has no intention of micromanaging, believing that a certain level of freedom will empower the players.
In replacing Don Mattingly this offseason, Roberts is in a unique position of taking over as a manager of a club that has legitimate championship potential. While admittedly excited, Roberts said his early-morning talk was composed.
“I think that as a coach, or as a first-time manager, you always want to control your emotions,” Roberts said. “But we just met for the first time in there and I let the guys know how excited I am and how excited the staff is. Every year, the first day of spring training is exciting, but obviously in this position, it’s all new to me. It’s going to be fun.”
So how long has he envisioned making a team address as a manager?
“I have always been a guy to take care of the job at hand in whatever position you are in, in that moment,” said Roberts, who has been a major league coach the previous six years. “It’s been on my radar I guess, maybe, but not really until this offseason when it all played itself out.”