Dodgers manager Dave Roberts finished fifth in 2021 National League Manager of the Year voting announced on Tuesday.
The winner was Gabe Kapler, who guided the Giants to 107 wins and the NL West title, snapping the Dodgers’ run of eight straight seasons atop the division. Roberts for two seasons worked together with Kapler, who was LA’s director of player development from 2015-17.
“I think he, like myself, we like to think we maximize the most out of our talents in our baseball careers,” Roberts said during the NLDS, in which the Dodgers outlasted the Giants in five games. “Really good leader, really good leader. Always has been.”
Kapler received 28 of 30 first-place votes, totaling 143 points. The NL Manager of the Year ballot is three deep, with first-place votes worth five points, second-place votes tallying three points, and third-place votes worth one point.
Craig Counsell, whose Brewers won 95 games, finished second. Cardinals manager Mike Schildt, who presided over a 17-game September winning streak, was third. Shildt guided St. Louis to a wild card berth, losing to the Dodgers in walk-off fashion on October 6, and for his troubles was fired eight days later.
Roberts led the Dodgers to 106 wins in 2021, tying a franchise record for wins set by the Roberts-led 2019 team, with a team-record winning percentage and a World Series championship in between. The Dodgers had the highest payroll in the sport, exceeding the $250 million competitive balance tax threshold, but also lost the second-most Wins Above Replacement Player to the injured list, per Derek Rhoads’ injured list ledger at Baseball Prospectus.
Roberts finished fifth in NL Manager of the Year balloting, receiving six third-place votes. He’s received votes for Manager of the Year in all six seasons leading the Dodgers, winning the award in 2016, his first season.
In six years under Roberts, the Dodgers have the most wins in the majors (542-329, .622), 23 more than the second-place team, plus three pennants and the club’s first World Series win since 1988. Roberts also has only one year remaining on his contract. An extension could come this offseason, but with several free agent decisions Roberts might have to wait a bit.
From Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic at the scene of last week’s GM meetings in Carlsbad:
“He’s been a big part of what we’ve accomplished looking back,” Friedman said. “I expect him to be a big part of what we accomplish looking forward. For us, we’ve got a lot of near-term things with people we aren’t sure are going to be here that we’re working through. I’m sure it (an extension) is something we’ll have conversations on at some point.”