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From champ to chump in one easy lesson

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With apologies to Capital One's ad campaign, Dave Roberts had the easiest decision in the history of decisions. And he whiffed.

After Max Scherzer declared himself out of Game 6 of the NLCS vs. Atlanta due to a tired, or, dead arm, due to being used in relief in this postseason, Roberts, seeking to deliver a 2nd World Series to the Los Angeles Dodgers, had just activated David Price, who'd been left off the NLCS roster, after Joe Kelly, his game 5 starter/opener, was forced out by a shoulder injury in the 2nd inning of game 5.

Instead of giving the ball to Price, Roberts opted to move his projected game 7 starter, Walker Buehler, up to replace Scherzer, with Buehler pitching on three days rest. The Braves, not willing to choke away a 3-1 series lead vs. the Dodgers for the 2nd straight year, weren't having it. Eddie Rosario ended any chance of a Dodger repeat with a 3 run homer in the 4th off Buehler. The Atlanta bullpen did the rest, giving up a run the rest of the way, and it'll be Atlanta vs. Houston, two former NL West rivals back in the day, meeting in the World Series, while Roberts will be 2nd, 3rd, and 4th guessed by Dodgers fans and talk radio regulars all week. The biggest question, of course, would be, why activate Price if you're not going to use him?

Would Price have made a difference? I believe so. By not using Price, Roberts unwittingly screwed the defending champions out of the World Series.

I am reminded of a Patriots-Giants Super Bowl, in which coach Bill Belichick left Terrell Owens off the roster for the Big Game, when he could've been a difference maker, proving that even the best minds in sports have blackouts sometimes. Of course, the Giants took advantage, and beat New England.

As for Roberts & the Dodgers, this could be the end of their dynasty, which, like the Braves from the 90's and '00's, netted just one World Series. I shan't be surprised if Dodger management decides that Roberts will be expendable as early as next year. His luck has just about run out.
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