LOS ANGELES -- In a competition with nine candidates, it took a lot for anyone to stand out in the race to be the next Dodgers manager. But in his first interview, Dave Roberts did just that, setting himself apart from the rest of the pack.
"After our first-round interview, it was like he had our answer key. He had all the answers we wanted to hear going through it," said Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. "It was incredibly impressive."
"We went into it with a completely open mind," general manager Farhan Zaidi said. "There's no way Dave walked out of that interview without thinking 'I totally nailed that,' because that's what we all thought."
"I did walk out of that room and said, 'I couldn't have done any more'," Roberts recalled. "Whether our visions aligned, I can't speak to that. But I was true to myself and I was honest with my visions of what a clubhouse should be, tactical things, and open-mindedness."
Having an open mind was key for Roberts in winning the job, becoming the 10th manager in Los Angeles Dodgers history. Information is king with this front office, and their use of more data is seen as a positive by Roberts, not a negative.
"As a player I was open to information. They wanted to make sure, which ever candidate would be open minded, flexible and liked communication," Roberts said. "And I can say that I welcome and want that.
"It goes to always getting better. In the modern game, scouting and getting information from coaches. Being a major league player, there is always information. I was one of those guys into video always trying to get an edge. Now with the way the game has evolved, we have the brightest people in our organization. For me, to have that at our disposal, it's special and something that I welcome. All great organizations in any industry depend on collaboration."
"We're ideas people, and like to have those exchanges," Zaidi said. "He's so receptive to it, and we're confident he's the right guy."
"We went through the process with the other eight guys and had a chance to continue to talk to Dave, to get to know him. Our ownership got a chance to get to know him," Friedman said. "To a man, everyone was blown away by who he is, what he represents. You can see his energy, you can see the enthusiasm, and his ability to connect with people. As we went through with a very high standard of what we're looking for, we're thrilled with the result of Dave sitting here to my right today."