It’s hard to imagine sometimes, but players and coaches from opposing baseball teams can be friends. Two teams like the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers may play seven tough, nail-biting World Series games against each other, but the teams aren’t mortal enemies off the field.
If you need proof of that, look no further than Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and Astros manager A.J. Hinch. An article in the Los Angeles Times by Andy McCullough takes a look at Roberts’ life after the World Series, and reveals that Roberts and Hinch are such good friends that Roberts is letting Hinch stay at his house for the wedding of Astros outfielder George Springer.
“He’s going to be in town for Springer’s wedding,” the Dodgers manager mentioned at lunch one afternoon this week.
Wait. George Springer? The World Series MVP? The Astro who starred in the sequence that still haunts Dodgers fans? Roberts chuckled at the cosmic coincidence. He did not intend to send Springer a gift.
“He should be sending me a present,” Roberts cracked as he picked over a plate of sashimi in strip-mall sushi joint just off the freeway in Encinitas. “A.J. better bring a really good bottle of wine.”
But seriously, Hinch should bring Roberts an insanely good bottle of wine.
Beyond the friendship of Roberts and Hinch, the article focuses on how Roberts has moved on from that dramatic World Series loss, and from a year that was personally challenging. The breakneck pace of baseball didn’t give him much time to grieve his father, Waymon, who died shortly before the 2017 season started. But the offseason has allowed him to make weekly visits to his mother, Eiko, who suffers from Parkinson’s.
After the World Series, Roberts dedicated himself to reconnecting with his mother. He sounded encouraged by her progress. He visited his father’s grave several times. “Shed a lot of tears,” Roberts said. “Did a lot of soul-searching. It was good.”
Roberts, like most baseball fans, is ready to put last season behind him and start new in 2018. He doesn’t want to use their World Series loss in 2017 as motivation in the upcoming season.
“It has to be a different season,” Roberts said. “Sometimes with teams, when you lose last in the postseason, there’s a carryover. It’s got to be in your mind, and I get that. But it’s got to be a different year.”
Roberts just wants to move forward and keep growing in the new season, and it’s hard to find a healthier perspective than that.
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