By Jon Weisman
Welcome to Dave Roberts’ honeymoon with Dodger fans and the media.
The new Dodger manager hasn’t been asked a question, hasn’t made a move. His rose is in full bloom.
But it takes two to be happy in a marriage, and let’s just say that Roberts’ collective new spouse — after 27 years of frustration — can be a bit challenging to keep satisfied.
Maybe the nitpicking of Roberts begins in Spring Training. Maybe it holds off until real life begins on Opening Day. Maybe there’s even a grace period into summertime.
But at some point, some will decide that Roberts doesn’t have the goods, before he’s really had a chance to show if he’s had the goods.
Roberts won’t be able to please everybody, because everybody doesn’t agree on how the job should be done. Baseball is fertile for fightin’ philosophies. Foresight is debatable, hindsight is toxic.
He’ll make a move that doesn’t work — because every manager does — and the Twitter bleachers will shout how they knew better. He’ll bunt X amount of times, and some will claim X is too much, and others will insist X is not enough.
The best-case scenario for Roberts might be to space out the complaints enough that they don’t gather momentum, the way they have with, well, every other manager since social media began.
Alternatively, with no cost to anyone at all, everyone could take the long view, giving Roberts room to breathe — even grow — before every offense becomes capital. A questionable move in May doesn’t mean doom for October. In fact, a lesson learned the hard way early might ultimately pay off late.
Roberts doesn’t need a free pass, and would be the last person to ask for one. That doesn’t mean we need to rush through the honeymoon. We want to be happily married a long, long time. A little perspective could go a long way.