Series skippers put friendship to the test
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[November 02, 2017]
By Frank Pingue
(Reuters) - Dave Roberts and A.J. Hinch
are one win away from the biggest prize of their managerial careers
but whoever prevails in the World Series decider on Wednesday, the
pair are determined their friendship will not be tested.
Roberts's Los Angeles Dodgers host Hinch's Houston Astros on
Wednesday in the final game of what has been a wild World Series,
filled with everything from crazy rallies, close games and marathon
"Obviously at the end of the night tonight, one of us is going to
celebrate and one of us is going to be pretty upset," Hinch said in
a news conference ahead of Wednesday's Game Seven.
"But I think the respect that we have for one another, the
relationship and the bond that grows being first-time managers in
the World Series will never go away."
The duo played against one another in college, went on to
major-league careers and then spent four years together working with
the San Diego Padres, Roberts as a coach and Hinch as the team's
It was in San Diego in 2011 that their friendship began as they hit
it off immediately.
Roberts and Hinch shared a brief embrace last week before the
best-of-seven World Series began but have not spoken since as they
work toward taking care of business.
Even though each is focused on beating the other in the biggest game
of the season, they say that the result of the best-of-seven series
has not hurt their relationship.
"If anything, as close as we are, I think it's probably brought us
closer together," said Roberts, whose Dodgers are seeking their
first World Series crown since 1988.
"It's not like we've talked throughout the series, but just for us
to go through this together, obviously on opposite sides, I think
that it's something that will tie us together for a long time."
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Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts in the 7th inning against
the Houston Astros in game six of the 2017 World Series at Dodger
Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Roberts's Dodgers were favored entering the World Series after
having posted Major League Baseball's best record and then cruising
by their first two postseason opponents en route to the championship
Houston, only four years removed from their third straight 100-loss
season in 2013, had just three fewer losses than LA and wield a
powerful lineup chasing their first World Series title since the
inception of the franchise 55 years ago.
"I've got nothing but respect for A.J. and his staff and the way
that those guys play," said Roberts. "Again, two best teams going at
it, Game Seven, but we've got a great relationship."
Hinch shares that mutual respect and knows an embrace awaits later
on Wednesday after one skipper emerges from a champagne-soaked
clubhouse and the other from a more somber room.
"We won't leave the building without seeing one another," said
Hinch. "That's what friends do."
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Nick Mulvenney)
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