October 29, 2018 / 5:39 AM / 19 days ago

Dodgers manager Roberts under scanner for World Series strategy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had a World Series to forget and will head into the off-season with some of his fateful decisions being put under the microscope following his team’s second straight title defeat.

Oct 28, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts (30) watches in the eighth inning against the Boston Red Sox in game five of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium. Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Roberts has now led the Dodgers to three lengthy post-season runs in a row, but that might be forgotten in the aftermath of a championship defeat that had the manager’s fingerprints all over it.

The 46-year-old Roberts was called out by President Donald Trump, booed by the Dodgers Stadium crowd, and ripped by the public for World Series strategy that backfired.

“I think that I appreciate the interest in our game, in baseball. And so the interest, the opinions, all that thing, I think that’s - I kind of look at it as a good thing,” Roberts told reporters.

“But I do know that there’s a lot of thought in knowing your players and things that people aren’t always privy to, decisions that I make.”

    The questionable decisions included inserting reliever Alex Wood into a pivotal Game One that led to a back-breaking, three-run home run that lifted Boston.     In Game Two, Roberts pulled starter Ryu Hyun-jin in favor of Ryan Madison who allowed a game-winning single.

The Red Sox feasted on the Dodgers bullpen in a 9-6 Game Four victory, leading Trump to tweet his displeasure for Roberts for removing starter Rich Hill.

    “I think that we can always go back and look at certain moments, and that’s what people do,” Roberts said. “A lot of times you make your own breaks and you’ve still got to go out there and perform.”

Despite his success, Roberts’ future with the Dodgers is unclear. The team has the option to pick up a final year of Roberts’ contract, worth about $1.1 million, or could reward him with an extension.

“I think that’s something that we’re going to have a lot of time to kind of think through,” Roberts said.

Reporting by Rory Carroll; editing by Sudipto Ganguly

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