Dodgers manager Roberts gets 3-year extension through 2025

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GLENDALE, Ariz. – Dave Roberts figured his contract extension with the Los Angeles Dodgers would happen sooner or later. A few other things just got in the way.

No matter.

“What it means to put this uniform on every day, and really respecting the Dodger tradition and the people who came before me,” the manager said Friday after agreeing to a three-year extension that takes him through the 2025 season.

Roberts’ contract was due to expire at the end of this season. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Roberts, who took over for Don Mattingly beginning with the 2016 season, has won 62% of his games (542-329), the best record in baseball over the last six seasons.

In that span, the Dodgers have won five National League West titles, three NL pennants and the 2020 World Series.

Last season, Los Angeles was 106-56, matching the best full-length season of 2019, but finished one game behind San Francisco for the division title. The Dodgers then beat the Giants in five games in the division series before losing to the eventual World Series champion Atlanta Braves in the NL Championship Series.

Part of the reason for the delay in the announcement of Roberts’ extension was because after the 99-day Major League Baseball lockout ended, the Dodgers were negotiating with free agent Freddie Freeman, who signed a six-year deal with the Dodgers earlier this month.

“We didn’t start talking about this until right before the lockout,” Roberts said. “I think we just kind of had little kind of, we’re going to try to figure something out and then after the lockout, and then we kind of got, I don’t want to say sidetracked.”

“I knew it was going to get done, I was hopeful. it wasn’t a priority for me individually. I think that us as an organization to focus on the players, and then obviously with what happened with Freddie, and things took precedent, which I completely understood and agreed with. But to get it done before the season, I think, it’s exciting for me and my family,” he said.

The 49-year-old Roberts admitted that with the pressure of managing a team with high expectations, he sometimes thought about what it would be like elsewhere.

“I did think about it at times. And I say that, not because I didn’t appreciate the job. I just felt that, at times, for me to do right by the Dodgers and the players, they have to have all of me. And in a world where there’s so much gray, I asked the players to be either in or out.”

“At different times, it’s like, `How long do I want to do this for?’ I think it’s a fair thought that anyone should have,” he said.

But in the end, Los Angeles was the only place Roberts wanted to be.

“I love this organization so much,” he said. “And I think that I’m very embedded with the fan base, the players, and I just feel that I can help impact lives by doing this job. And I think you guys have seen me more vocal kind of outside the baseball lane the last couple years. I take a lot of pride in that, and not being lost that I’m a baseball manager and not a political voice or a social voice,” he said.

The pressure seems not to be a factor now, as Roberts said Thursday that the Dodgers will win the World Series this season.

“You know, it’s something that I just believe,” he said Friday.

“In 2020, I felt that our guys had the combination of urgency, the talent in the room, the undeniable focus to win a championship. And I’m seeing a semblance of that this year. It’s certainly easy for me to say that when you have a room of talented players like we do have. I just am not afraid to put my thoughts out to the public,” he said.

New bill to build Athletics stadium on Las Vegas Strip caps Nevada’s cost at $380 million

D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

CARSON CITY, Nev. — A bill introduced in the Nevada Legislature would give the Oakland Athletics up to $380 million for a potential 30,000 seat, $1.5 billion retractable roof stadium on the Las Vegas Strip.

The bulk of the public funding would come from $180 million in transferable tax credits from the state and $120 million in county bonds, which can vary based on interest rate returns. Clark County also would contribute $25 million in credit toward infrastructure costs.

The A’s have been looking for a home to replace Oakland Coliseum, where the team has played since arriving from Kansas City for the 1968 season. The team had sought to build a stadium in Fremont, San Jose and finally the Oakland waterfront, all ideas that never materialized.

The plan in the Nevada Legislature won’t directly raise taxes. It can move forward with a simply majority vote in the Senate and Assembly. Lawmakers have a little more than a week to consider the proposal before they adjourn June 5, though it could be voted on if a special session is called.

The Athletics have agreed to use land on the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip, where the Tropicana Las Vegas casino resort sits. Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao has said he is disappointed the team didn’t negotiate with Oakland as a “true partner.”

Las Vegas would be the fourth home for a franchise that started as the Philadelphia Athletics from 1901-54. It would become the smallest TV market in Major League Baseball and the smallest market to be home to three major professional sports franchises.

The team and Las Vegas are hoping to draw from the nearly 40 million tourists who visit the city annually to help fill the stadium. The 30,000-seat capacity would make it the smallest MLB stadium.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said a vote on the Oakland Athletics’ prospective move to Las Vegas could take place when owners meet June 13-15 in New York.

The plan faces an uncertain path in the Nevada Legislature. Democratic leaders said financing bills, including for the A’s, may not go through if Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo vetoes the five budget bills, which he has threatened to do as many of his priorities have stalled or faded in the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

Under the bill, the Clark County Board of Commissioners would create a homelessness prevention and assistance fund along the stadium’s area in coordination with MLB and the Nevada Resort Association. There, they would manage funds for services, including emergency rental and utility assistance, job training, rehabilitation and counseling services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

The lease agreement with the Las Vegas Stadium Authority would be up for renewal after 30 years.

Nevada’s legislative leadership is reviewing the proposal, Democratic state Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager said in a statement.

“No commitment will be made until we have both evaluated the official proposal and received input from interested parties, including impacted community members,” Yeager said.