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Both 2015 Managers of the Year, Jeff Banister and Joe Maddon, managed extensively in the minors. The last five managers to win a World Series had managed another major-league club first. Then comes Charlie Manuel of the Phillies in 2008, but he had run 1,198 minor-league games. Ozzie Guillen (2005, White Sox) is the last guy to jump into the fire and withstand it, at least for a while.What makes Dave Roberts different? And when the guys in the fifth-floor boxes at Dodger Stadium are perceived as the real lineup manipulators, what difference will the manager make?The answer might be in Roberts’ smile, his interpersonal reach, his active voice, and, most of all, his history. He is the most pronounced extrovert to get the Dodgers’ job since Tommy Lasorda himself.He also didn’t get his first major league at-bat until he was 27, going 3-for-5 for Cleveland against Tampa Bay, and he didn’t get his first regular gig until he was 30, as a platoon centerfielder for the Dodgers in 2002. Roberts played 10 major-league seasons.He proves that nice guys can finish. He finished off Hodgkin’s lymphona, for example. And he finished this grandiose game of musical chairs by landing in the big one, while a large auditioning parade fell out.Since 1988, the last World Series year, he is their eighth manager. Two of those managers (Davey Johnson, Joe Torre) had won world championships in New York and another (Grady Little) had gone to Game 7 of a championship series.Eventually you don’t hire a resume, you hire a presence..“He was a great basestealer,” said Dan Evans, now the Blue Jays’ international scout, then the Dodgers’ general manager who watched Roberts make the club and stick.“To be a great basestealer, you have to have energy and passion. And you can’t have any fear.”Roberts stole 45 for the Dodgers in 2002 and 243 in his career. That does not count Game 4 of the 2004 A.L. Championship Series, after Paul DePodesta had shipped Roberts to the Red Sox for an afterthought.Boston trailed the Yankees 3-0 in games and 4-3 on the scoreboard in the bottom of the ninth. Mariano Rivera walked Kevin Millar. Roberts ran for Millar and stole second. Bill Mueller’s ground-ball single tied it 4-4.Three innings later, David Ortiz launched a winning homer off Paul Quantrill (another ’02 Dodger) and Boston did not lose another postseason game. Roberts will never have to buy a Sam Adams in Boston again. He also proved the worth of speed to a city that had never bought it.Roberts had told his wife in ’02 that it would be a “seven-month season,” that he would have to be great in spring training to make the club and could never take a day off from the process of staying.But he had already impressed Evans in the winter, when he drove from the San Diego suburbs to L.A. at least three times a week to work with Maury Wills, the modern Godfather of the extra 90 feet.Roberts’ father Wayman was a 30-year Marine gunnery sergeant. Dave was born in Okinawa and then lived all over America, and he realized that if he didn’t reach out to his new classmates at every stop, he would always be the wallflower.He was a high school quarterback who almost played at the Air Force Academy. He was sent down from Detroit’s Class A team to a ragtag co-op squad in Visalia, and ran his way up to Double-A the next year.Experience might be a question. Experiences aren’t. If the Dodgers spent nearly a month just to hire a middleman, they wasted more time than Dave Roberts ever has. Everyone has to start somewhere. The question is whether a baseball manager should start in Dodger Stadium. Or Lynchburg or Modesto or Montgomery.Ex-major leaguers have been getting more chances to cut their teeth in dugouts where every rookie mistake is not only noticed but tweeted. They have been anointed as leaders without any time spent at Officer Candidate School.The results have not been stellar.Washington’s Matt Williams got fired last month. Detroit’s Brad Ausmus nearly did. Robin Ventura of the White Sox hasn’t distinguished himself. Mike Matheny of St. Louis has, but Matheny spent lots of sweaty days at the Cardinals’ minor-league outposts, getting a ground-up view of the organization. Same with Minnesota’s Paul Molitor. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
DES MOINES — Iowa Workforce Development reports another drop in new unemployment claims driven by the coronavirus.The agency says there were 27,912 first-time unemployment claims filed last week. That is a little more than half the number of claims filed in the previous week — and it is the second straight week where claims have dropped after hitting a record of 64,194.Manufacturing has the most claims at 5,143 health care and social assistance had 3,985 and the retail trades saw 3,307.IWD says there were nearly 152,000 continuing unemployment claims during the week.