Roberts doesn’t re­peat

Dodgers man­ager is run­ner-up to Ari­zona’s Lovullo. Min­nesota’s Moli­tor is AL win­ner.

Los Angeles Times - - BASEBALL - By Bill Shaikin bill.shaikin@la­ Twit­ter: @Bil­lShaikin

Dave Roberts threw a lit­tle house party. Bud Black was the guest of honor.

The men live a cou­ple of miles apart in north­ern San Diego County. Roberts, the man­ager of the Dodgers, and Black, the man­ager of the Colorado Rock­ies, got to­gether for Tues­day’s an­nounce­ment of the Na­tional League man­ager of the year.

The other fi­nal­ist, Torey Lovullo of the Di­a­mond­backs, was by him­self, at a ball­park in Ari­zona.

“Of course I would have gone,” Lovullo said with a chuckle. “When I was told that I was by my­self and they were to­gether, I was a lit­tle bit jeal­ous.”

Lovullo can con­sole him­self with the award. Af­ter lead­ing the Di­a­mond­backs from a 93-loss sea­son to the di­vi­sion se­ries, Lovullo suc­ceeded Roberts as the league’s man­ager of the year, gar­ner­ing twice as many points in the vot­ing.

Roberts fin­ished sec­ond, Black third. Paul Moli­tor of the Twins won the Amer­i­can League honor, af­ter Min­nesota be­came the first team in MLB his­tory to make the play­offs a sea­son af­ter los­ing 100 games. Terry Fran­cona of the Cleve­land In­di­ans was sec­ond and A.J. Hinch of the Hous­ton Astros third. Moli­tor joined Frank Robinson as the only men to be elected to the Hall of Fame as a player and later be se­lected as a man­ager of the year.

Lovullo, 52, who was raised in the San Fer­nando Val­ley and played at UCLA, is the fourth first-year man­ager to win it in the last four years, fol­low­ing Roberts last year, Jeff Banis­ter of the Texas Rangers in 2015 and Matt Wil­liams of the Washington Na­tion­als in 2014.

Of the five man­ager hires thus far this fall, Ron Gar­den­hire — Lovullo’s bench coach this year — is the only one with pre­vi­ous ma­jor league ex­pe­ri­ence. Three men who have man­aged mul­ti­ple clubs were dis­missed af­ter lead­ing their teams to the post­sea­son this year: Dusty Baker, John Far­rell and Joe Gi­rardi.

Lovullo said front of­fices want to hire man­agers fa­mil­iar with an­a­lyt­ics and will­ing to em­brace them, even at the ex­pense of some of the tra­di­tional au­ton­omy in de­ci­sion­mak­ing. As a re­sult, he said, the jobs are go­ing to “the newer model, the younger model type of a man­ager.”

Said Lovullo: “It’s def­i­nitely trend­ing in that way, and I think the main part of it is the an­a­lyt­ics.”

Roberts led the Dodgers to the World Se­ries. Lovullo won the award as man­ager of the year for lead­ing a team that fin­ished 11 games be­hind the Dodgers and were swept by them in the di­vi­sion se­ries, al­though vot­ing ended be­fore the play­offs.

“We feel strongly about our or­ga­ni­za­tion and our play­ers,” Lovullo said. “Whether we have closed that gap or not, we’re not ex­actly sure. … The Dodgers walked through us in three games, so we know what we have to do to im­prove for that to not hap­pen.”

When the Dodgers lost in the play­offs last year, their own­ers com­mit­ted $192 mil­lion to bring back free agents Rich Hill, Ken­ley Jansen and Justin Turner. It is un­cer­tain whether Ari­zona can af­ford to bring back free-agent out­fielder J.D. Martinez, who hit 29 home runs in 62 games for them this year.

“It’s a tremen­dous chal­lenge for us to try and stride with the Dodgers, know­ing that there is a dif­fer­ence in pay­roll,” Lovullo said.

“We are tak­ing a dif­fer­ent av­enue and a dif­fer­ent walk than they are.”

That, of course, is his prob­lem. The league’s Twit­ter ac­count posted a pic­ture of Roberts and Black loung­ing on pa­tio fur­ni­ture Tues­day af­ter­noon, with this cap­tion: “Too blessed to be stressed.”

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