April 9th 2016 by Shannon Michael Smith
It was a dark and stormy night in ‘Frisco. Ross Stripling’s wicked “spiked curve” (really a knuckle curve) looked sharp as he tossed seven and a third hitless innings before Dave Roberts pulled him at exactly 100 pitches. It immediately felt wrong, yanking someone (in his MLB debut) that hadn’t given up a hit, even if it is early in the season. Sure enough, it proved to be another Roberts bullpen blunder as Chris Hatcher gave up a two-run blast to tie the game. Joe Blanton coughed up the game winning HR to the hated ones in the bottom of the tenth inning, 3-2 Giants.
In the very first article we posted on this blog, we wondered why The Dodgers were the training wheels to Dave Roberts’ management career. We’re only five games into the season, and we have to wonder what could have been had the newbie manager left Stripling in. Look, we can see Roberts pulling Stripling after the 100-pitch limit if he had given up a hit or two, or was in trouble, but during a potential no-hitter? Ridiculous. Sure, Stripling jumped on a grenade for Roberts in the post-game interview, saying he was tired…bull. Roberts ripped off some lame excuses about not wanting to ruin the kid’s career, yeah that makes a lot of sense, yank a guy from a potential no-hitter so he doesn’t hurt himself, what is this, a pink tea party? Now, at best, The Dodgers are facing the prospect of a split-series with the G-Men.
Will Roberts’ inexperience cost this team a playoff run? Quite possibly. We predicted a playoff absence this year due to a shaky pitching staff, but Roberts’ rookie moves could kill Dodger dreams just as well.
Why is Roberts the manager of The Dodgers? Was he “on sale”? Was he sitting in the corner of a bargain bin? You’d think The Los Angeles Dodgers would have their pick of the litter when it came to head honchos. You know, people with actual experience. At least Don Mattingly was a coach with L.A. for three years before he took the reigns, he knew the team. He also managed the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the fall league to prepare himself for his 2011 management debut.
Roberts looks like a kid lost at the mall, his eyes growing bigger with fear as he runs back and forth between The Gap and Orange Julius in search of mama. The last thing The Dodgers need right now is Charlie Brown at the helm. Fans have already grown impatient with ownership and front office ineptitude. If Roberts keeps making gaffes like this, it’s going to be a long and ugly season. Kind of like season three of Sons of Anarchy, why did they go to Ireland, why? It was so forced…
Will Kershaw defeat the Mad Bum today? Will Roberts pull Kershaw in the eighth inning with a potential no-hitter on the line? Will the smug-o-meter burst in San Fran if the hated ones win again? Stay tuned! Until tomorrow, mirth seekers!