Will Mike Scioscia Last the Year?
How long until the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim faithful fan base start calling for the firing of manager Mike Scioscia? Admittedly, it’s far too early into the current season to be asking this question reasonably. The problem is that for the last three seasons there have been whispers that have grown into an uproar over whether Scioscia should get a pass for winning the 2002 World Series. The intensity of the whispers may have picked up, but is the case against Scioscia strong enough? Whether or not it’s strong enough is up to the front office but he might not last to the middle of the season.
Coming into this year the expectations are higher than they have ever been before under Scioscia or probably any manager in team history. The Angels as a franchise had only made three postseasons before 2002 when they won the World Series where they had never been before or since. If you look back at all of the seasons under Scioscia from 2000-2012 there are only three losing seasons in the 13 years. All three seasons combine for 22 games under .500 the largest being 12. All 13 seasons total up to 1155-951 which are 204 games over .500 and a .548 winning percentage. If the Halos win over 90 games this season, which will happen if the pitching holds up, that will most likely be the Angels seventh trip to the postseason in the 14 years under Scioscia. Although 50% may be pretty good for any manager, there have been no playoff appearances since 2009.
For a team as talented as the Angels have been, at least offensively, it would be hard to imagine them not making the playoffs as a wildcard at the very least. The injury to Jered Weaver (fractured left elbow) that will keep him out for at least a month certainly doesn’t help a team that over the past four years has not started the season well. The last four seasons the Halos headed into June with records of 25-24, 26-27, 29-28, 26-26. The slow starts coupled with the fact that one of the best teams in baseball in that time frame, the Texas Rangers, have ruled the division.
Players have hinted in the last year that the coaches aren’t the greatest. The two instances that come to mind are from two guys not currently on the team. Last year Torii Hunter called out the coaches after the team was off to a slow start. Hunter told Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times that “Not just players” had to “fight harder” and when asked about the decisions on the field, Hunter added, “What can we do? All we do is play the game.” Those comments certainly sound like an attack on the coaching staff if I’ve ever heard one.
A more recent criticism came from former Angels’ pitcher Trevor Bell. Last week Bell sent out the following tweet with perhaps some inside knowledge on where the player’s minds are:
The twitter account has since been deleted but the message was clear. “Catorce” is 14, meaning Scioscia’s number, implying that he is the real problem.
For whatever reason, our society today has a collective form of ADD where we can’t do the same thing for too long without moving on to something else. This definitely has become the case for the Angels players as the message Scioscia has been preaching since he took the job in 2000 has become stale. If the Angels miss the playoffs for the fourth year in a row, Scioscia will not likely survive the swell of Angels fans that would rather him not manage the team.