"We're extremely excited to bring Dave Roberts on board as the next manager of the Dodgers," said Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman in a club-issued release. "We could not have been more impressed with him through this process.
"His energy is infectious, and he has the rare ability to make a genuine connection with every person he comes across. He has developed strong leadership qualities and accumulated a breadth of baseball experience over his career as both a player and coach. He is a "baseball man" and "people person" in the truest sense of those words. We feel fully confident that he will effectively lead our team in pursuit of its ultimate goal -- bringing a world championship back to the city of Los Angeles."
Now, can he manage the Dodgers to that World Series? Can he maneuver bullpen pieces when the game speeds up? Can he stand up to a star like Yasiel Puig, who congratulated his new skipper on Twitter:
#Congratulations to My New Manager Dave Roberts #dodgers #2016 #newyear #newmanager
Well, he stood up to cancer and beat it, so that should make him tough enough.
"It's hard for me to put into words what it means to be named manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers," said Roberts, the first minority manager in franchise history. "This is truly the opportunity of a lifetime. The Dodgers are the ground-breaking franchise of Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Sandy Koufax, Maury Wills, Fernando Valenzuela and Hideo Nomo. When I put on this uniform as a player, I understood the special responsibility to honor those that played before me, as well as the amazing bond between the Dodgers and their fans. I feel that I have now come full circle in my career, and there is plenty of unfinished business left in L.A."
The 43-year-old Roberts won out over director of player development Gabe Kapler to become the 10th manager in Los Angeles Dodgers history. He reportedly received a three-year contract with a one-year option to follow Don Mattingly, who left last month and was hired to manage the Marlins.
Kapler gave his full support in a tweet that read: "Dave Roberts is an exceptional individual."
The tweet also included a picture with a hand-written note from Kapler that read as followed: "Dave Roberts and I played together twice. Once in 1998 for the Jacksonville Suns, once in 2004 with the Red Sox. The man is an exceptional teammate and a tremendous human. He is prepared and diligent. His work ethic is strong. Dave is going to do a phenomenal job, and Dodger fans have a man they can be proud of at the helm."
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner tweeted about his excitement over Roberts' hiring: "Glad to have Dave Roberts on our side!!! Looking forward to getting out to AZ to get 2016 going already #LA @Dodgers"
Catcher A.J. Ellis said he never felt Roberts lacked the killer instinct watching from the other side the past five years as Roberts coached -- first from the first-base coaching box, then as bench coach.
"As a coach in San Diego, I was always struck and admired how Dave could greet you with a genuine and sincere smile and handshake during batting practice; and then contrast that two hours later with a glare out of the Padre dugout of intensity and competitiveness to win the game," Ellis said.
Padres broadcaster and former teammate Mark Sweeney also said that the nice-guy Roberts has no problem getting tough when needed.
"Dave will handle players, good or bad, the same way he treats everyone -- with class and dignity. I think he has learned to handle individual cases in-house from [former Padres manager] Buddy [Black]."
Tweeted Padres closer Huston Street: "Congrats to Dave Roberts, he might be really REALLY really short, but stands tall as a leader, person, coach and now Manager, happy for him"
Veteran catcher David Ross also offered his congratulations via Twitter: "Congrats to Dave Roberts on being #Dodgers new Mng. He taught me to be a professional on & off the field! True leader and a great man!
Giants pitcher Matt Cain, who received encouragement from Roberts at a crucial time in 2007, when Cain was pitching well but getting no run support, also chimed in on the new Dodgers manager:
"He has a knack for relating to guys," Cain said. "That's something that is huge in this game. To be able to talk to everyone on your team -- no matter if they play a different position -- and to have that respect when he gives advice is really key, and that's a quality not everyone has. [Roberts] is a huge fan of the game. He loves to study things that others don't, and that's why he's stayed around for so long."
Dodgers pitcher Brett Anderson tweeted that he "Can't wait to be the first one to ask our new manager if he remembers that time he stole that base for the Red Sox in the playoffs."
From all indications, Rick Honeycutt will be returning as pitching coach to assure some degree of pitching continuity on a staff that might not have Zack Greinke. Roberts' coaching staff is likely to be picked in large part by a front office that isn't shy about providing its manager with information and direction.