Los Angeles Times

Dave Roberts and Adrian Gonzalez are close friends, and it benefits Dodgers

LOS ANGELES _ In the fall of 2015, as the Los Angles Dodgers searched for a new manager, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman consulted with a handful of veterans about the candidates. Adrian Gonzalez started to rave when Friedman mentioned Dave Roberts. The praise came with a caveat.

"Dave would be great, but I can't give you an unbiased opinion on him," Gonzalez recalled telling Friedman. "He's one of my best friends."

Friedman knew as much, but he still listened as Gonzalez talked about Roberts' energy and optimism, his singular blend of savvy and positivity. The Dodgers' roster was loaded with talent but riven with strife. The team required someone who could unite the group while implementing the innovation offered by the front office.

After Roberts interviewed for the job, Friedman reached out to his first baseman.

"Dude," Friedman told Gonzalez, "he nailed it."

When the Dodgers hired Roberts, it added a new dimension to the friendship the new manager had forged with Gonzalez as teammates a decade

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