LA Dodgers turn to Roberts as Mattingly's replacement

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The Los Angeles Dodgers are handing over the reins of MLB's biggest-spending team to first-time manager Dave Roberts.

Roberts was hired on Monday to conclude a lengthy search that began with the departure of Don Mattingly in October. Mattingly led the Dodgers to three consecutive National League West titles, but Roberts' challenge will be to make an impact deep into October, something his predecessor could not do.

The 43-year-old beat out the favourite heading into the search, fellow former Dodgers outfielder Gabe Kapler. 

Roberts spent the last two seasons as bench coach in San Diego. One of the most well-regarded figures in the game, he has been seen as a potential future manager since his days as a speedy outfielder.

He retired in 2008 after a 10-year career in the majors highlighted by one of the biggest stolen bases in major league history.

His momentum-turning swipe of second base in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the 2004 American League Championship Series was the pivotal moment in the Red Sox turning around a 3-0 deficit, rallying to defeat the Yankees, and going on to win their first World Series since 1918.