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Should the Angels trade Mike Scioscia?

May 5, 2013, 10:05 PM EDT

mike-scioscia-angels Getty Images

With an 8-4 loss to the Orioles this afternoon, the Angels dropped to 11-20 on the season, ahead of only the lowly Astros in the AL West. What was thought to be a promising season for the win-now Angels has become a nightmare due to injuries, a putrid starting rotation, and an ineffective start to the season for Josh Hamilton.

In a column posted earlier today, Ken Rosenthal suggests this Angels team does not have Scioscia’s brand on it — the slow, poorly-defending, homer-dependent Angels look nothing like the pesky Angels of yesteryear.

Rosenthal also suggests an amicable parting between the Angels and Scioscia could be best for both parties, with Scioscia being traded a la Red Sox manager John Farrell.

Scioscia could take a year off like Francona, but that would require him to renounce his contract. Better Scioscia should sit down with Moreno with the two agreeing to part amicably through a John Farrell-type trade – only with a bigger return.

The Dodgers, Scioscia’s former team, would be the most obvious possibility. Moreno would recoil at the idea, but if he could parlay Scioscia’s reputation into a significant player or two, why not? The Angels could hire a new manager with new energy. And they would be better for it.

  1. 4d3fect - May 5, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    Either that or his head on a platter.

    • fanofevilempire - May 6, 2013 at 6:59 AM

      This guy is called the best manager in baseball and he only won the
      world series once, I think he is over rated and a good manager, but
      not the best. He had a few good teams and never made a impact as
      a contender.

      • 18thstreet - May 6, 2013 at 10:31 AM

        I agree that he’s overrated as a manager, but his teams did have a certain style (bunts, e.g.). Hard to understand how that just vanishes unless the GM and the manager aren’t on the same page.

        The best evidence that Crawford was a bad fit in Boston was the way he was bounced around the lineup in April of his first year. The manager had no idea what to do with him.

  2. thebadguyswon - May 5, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    No one in baseball does less with more than Mike Sciocia. Easily the most overrated manager in the game.

    • tycobbfromfangraphs - May 5, 2013 at 10:29 PM

      Dusty Baker wants in this, minus the over-rated part

  3. beefytrout - May 5, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    Only if it’s for a podiatrist, a psychiatrist, an optometrist.

  4. ultimatecardinalwarrior - May 5, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    I don’t really think it’s a seller’s market for managers right now…

    • paperlions - May 6, 2013 at 7:50 AM

      Which makes right now just like every other time in history….plus, I doubt anyone will be willing to take on that contract. Most teams prefer to keep manager contracts short or just go year to year.

  5. brewcrewfan54 - May 5, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    Sorta shows that there’s an art to trying to buy a championship. Oh yeah, and ya gotta have pitching because slugging your way doesn’t usually work.

    • aceshigh11 - May 5, 2013 at 11:56 PM

      This year has been one of the clearest indications yet that hiring a bunch of superstars doesn’t guarantee dick until you actually play the games.

      The Jays, Angels and Dodgers have all been colossal disappointments so far. I can’t think of a year where three teams came in riding high expectations after making major moves, and tanked right out of the gate.

      • brianc6234 - May 6, 2013 at 12:52 AM

        I’m an Angels fan and I didn’t believe the hype. We saw what happened last year. Who cares about a team signing a big hitter? Angel Stadium isn’t the easiest ballpark to hit in anyway. Better to just have a bunch of good players but no real stars. That was the 2002 Angels.

  6. bigharold - May 5, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    “.. the pesky Angels of yesteryear.”

    The Angles haven’t won the WS since 2002, .. which is about two baseball life times. Referring to the “.. the pesky Angels of yesteryear.” is like harkening back to the power house Yankees of the late 90s.

    Scioscia is a good manager but good managers, .. even great ones, .. have a self life. At some point it’s time to move on.

    • tuberippin - May 6, 2013 at 3:50 AM

      I agree. Everyone has a self life.

    • paperlions - May 6, 2013 at 7:52 AM

      So….since 2001, the Angels have won the same number of WS as the Yankees.

      • bigharold - May 6, 2013 at 9:42 AM

        That’s accurate, now what’s your point?

        Referencing the Yankees 2009 WS win is hardly relevant. But, 2009, was he last time the Angels even made the playoffs. The last time they made the WS was the last time they won it, which in baseball terms is ancient history. Which was my point. There are a lot of factors that go into that and one of them is the managers effectiveness. Scioscia with the Angels find himself in the same place as other long term managers that won the WS early in their tenure. He’s living off his reputation and past accomplishments. Which in this case are almost like Star Wars, .. a long long time ago in a galaxy far far away.

        All managers have a shelf life and Scioscia seems to have reached his limit with the Angels. The concept of a managers shelf life is something that I first read from am interview with Sparky Anderson. He was speaking about the end of his tenure with the Reds and realized he wasn’t reaching guys like Joe Morgan or even Johnny Bench. He knew it was time to go at that point. At some point all organizations need new blood, .. a new voice. It happened to Anderson, a guy who won WS with two different teams. Recently you saw it with Francona, which was handled horribly by the RS and not so recently, Joe Torre, which wasn’t handled well either.

        Not to worry though. If, after all the money Moreno has spent recently, the Angels don’t make the playoffs again Scioscia won’t have to concern himself with whether it’s time to move on, .. he’ll be fired. At the end of the day it’s a results orientated business and Scioscia hasn’t been getting the desired results.

      • paperlions - May 6, 2013 at 12:36 PM

        To expand, since 2001 there have been 12 WS won by 9 teams….and 21 teams have won zero WS since then. The point, somewhat oviously, is that 2002 was not even 1/2 a “baseball lifetime”, much less 2 of them.

      • bigharold - May 6, 2013 at 5:33 PM

        “The point, somewhat oviously, is that 2002 was not even 1/2 a “baseball lifetime”, much less 2 of them.”

        Your point is neither obvious nor is it supported by your amalgamation of facts you’ve presented because they are not relevant.

        If baseball life times is the what is at issue you are incorrect. In fact, if one where to take all the current managers, not counting the ones that are in the first year of managing their current team, the average tenure of all active managers is 4.375 years. If one counted the six mangers that are in the first year of the current position, the average tenure drops to 3.5 years.

        Moreover, according to a study conducted by the University of Colorado the average players career is 5.6 years.

        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070709131254.htm

        So, in assessing a “baseball life time”, 5-6 years as good as a estimate as can be supported by facts. If one were counting in managerial tenure, 5-6 years is rather generous. All of which underscores the notion that the Angels under Mike Scioscia haven’t accomplished much recently and he’s likely living on borrowed time. And, that is the direct result of his accomplishments two MLB baseball life times ago.

  7. dwaibel38 - May 5, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    I love how everyone blames Scioscia for the Angels woes… Last time I checked they weren’t losing 1 run games… They were getting blown out. The manager has little impact until the games are tight. Not to mention the fact that, like the Dodgers, they are dealing with numerous injuries (al la Boston 2012).

    • chill1184 - May 5, 2013 at 10:58 PM

      Good point but as a general rule, injuries aren’t an excuse everyone has them.

      • djpostl - May 5, 2013 at 11:13 PM

        See 2013 New York Yankees.

        Both teams allegedly have more talent and neither team has had half the injuries they have.

    • dickschofield8291986 - May 6, 2013 at 1:50 PM

      Last time I checked

      Last game I went to, on Sunday, Scoscia pinch hit Cousins for Ianetta to sacrifice bunt with no outs, down by 2. He could have used Hamilton, a supposed slugger, with 2 men on, or just let Iannetta hit away.

      That pinch hit cost the Angels their DH spot (Conger was DH and moved to C). Because of that, Frieri could only go 1 inning b/c Scoscia pinch hit Hamilton for him in the 9th. An inferior pitcher lost the game in the 10th.

      With a struggling pitcher (De La Rosa), he called 2 pitchouts with Adam Jones on base, leading to a walk.

      Down by 2 runs, Trumbo on first he hit ‘n’ run, thrown out.

      He started Shuck over Bourjos because he felt like it, and we all watched a double fall in front of slow footed Shuck (a good kid, just not Bourjos).

      I’m sure Scoscia does a lot of things very-well, but he seems to be a “look at me and my clever stratagems” manager.

  8. tfbuckfutter - May 5, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    First….we went to Moe’s the other night and the girl who made my burrito’s name was Scioscia….I assume it was pronounced “Sasha” but I didn’t ask her if her dad was a Dodger fan.

    Second….Mike’s a great manager….but once you start plugging can’t-miss-players into every position, you don’t need a great baseball manager, you need a great star manager.

    Apparently he can’t do that. Maybe they should think about replacing him with Torre.

  9. alexo0 - May 5, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    This suggestion is akin to when fans think they can trade their team’s overpaid, underproducing players for 3-4 of another teams top prospects. Plus, what team would actually make this trade? Are the Dodgers so eager to dump Mattingly now? This is one of the most idiotic thing Rosenthal has ever said.

    • djpostl - May 5, 2013 at 11:16 PM

      Former Dodger with great reputation. Chance to “swipe him away” from cross-town(ish) rival. GM known to make senseless trades on behalf of the Dodgers. Mattingly has appeared to be vulnerable etc…

      Not nearly as outlandish as you seem to think.

      • Francisco (FC) - May 6, 2013 at 9:07 AM

        MLB should do a TV reality show like “Wife Swap” but called: “Manager Swap”. Have both LA teams switch Managers and let’s see what happens.

      • gloccamorra - May 6, 2013 at 10:17 AM

        Teams have swapped managers before, once. There was no celebrated result, it’s known strictly for the novelty of it. I personally feel both teams should use celebrity guest managers, and let them battle it out over who can sign the biggest stars.

    • hittfamily - May 6, 2013 at 12:52 AM

      I pointed out the other night that last year Rosenthal was reporting “talks” between the Rays and Angels last year revolving around Shields and Zobrist being traded for Maicer Izturis, Peter Bourjos, and Hank Conger. The man has no idea what trade value actually is. Does he think 7 more years of Scioscia being under contract is a good thing for a team? Does he think it is a 2008 Evan Longoria type contract where there is plenty of trade value, and every team would giveup a good prospect? I just don’t get how he thinks the Angels would get anything in return.

  10. modellforprez - May 5, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    and what aboot Donny Baseballs. you sneaky corksucker you fargin iceholes mizrabel bastiges. better not try no fargin tricks icehole ok you and the rest of your bastiges may gamble

    • illegalblues - May 5, 2013 at 11:44 PM

      horse_ebooks!

  11. kiwicricket - May 5, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    He signed a 10yr contract extension at the end of 2009. 10 freaking years!
    If they fire him, he will join Ozzie G in the ‘Play golf all week, sleep in your own bed and laugh at your former employer’ Club.

    • jdillydawg - May 7, 2013 at 12:48 AM

      I’m not half as competitive as your average major leaguer, but even I would have trouble sleeping at night on that pile of money knowing I couldn’t get the job done. Money doesn’t take the sting of failure away.

      I like the idea of Scioscia going to the Dodgers, but I don’t think he’d be successful. With the egos and salaries on that team now, I’m beginning to think Phil Jackson might be the only guy who could manage them. I’m sure Magic has his number!

  12. hittfamily - May 6, 2013 at 12:42 AM

    As a Rays fan, I hate this idea, only because Joe Maddon would likely be first on their list. It is very obvious too me that Joe Maddon and Bud Black were far more responsible for the successes the Angels had than anything Scioscia ever did.

    The Angels have the money to do whatever they want. Maddon still owns a home in southern California, and was a lifelong Angel. The big thing keeping Maddon in TB in my view is his relationship with Friedman and ownership. My worst nightmare would be Maddon and Friedman going to LAA. I really can’t imagine how good they would be with those 2 calling the shots on a 200 million dollar payroll.

  13. raidordie - May 6, 2013 at 12:49 AM

    Baseball managers have far of a less impact on the outcome of the game than any other sport. Sciossia isn’t the one throwing the ball across the plate or swinging the bat. That’s the players responsibility. The angels pitching is what it is. The bullpen is getting a heavy workload and injuries in the rotation only make it worse. It’s funny when teams are on a streak all anyone wants to talk about is the players and how great they are doing, when they stink its all on the manager. Give me a break

    • hittfamily - May 6, 2013 at 1:02 AM

      In Tampa Bay during their losing streak last week, Maddon brought in a DJ one day, a Magician the next, a cockatoo/teil the next, and penguins the next. He also had a gong installed. Team morale is very important. I doubt it is calculable, and morale won’t make a bad team good. But it can make a good team bad. Ask the Sox how much they enjoyed Sept 2011. I’m not saying a magician would have cured it, but it might have cleared their minds of the collapse long enough to bust 1 guys slump. I like having an actual leader in TB who is willing to try things like that. Players want to play in Tampa. God has told the last 2 superstar free agents to play for Scioscia, and they shit themselves getting off the plane. Scioscia has stood idly by as they wallow in their own feces.

  14. yousuxxors - May 6, 2013 at 1:04 AM

    I bet you the Yankees will give you arod for him.

    • fanofevilempire - May 6, 2013 at 7:02 AM

      WRONG, Mike is not as good as they say he is.

  15. blabidibla - May 6, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    The Angels problem is not Scioscia. It’s pitching. They don’t have enough solid arms.

    • stevequinn - May 6, 2013 at 10:58 AM

      You’re absolutely on the mark. Just like last year, pitching killed the Angels andthey were effectively eliminated from the playoffs after the first month of the season.

      If Moreno was going to spend big bucks, he should have signed FA pitchers instead of Josh Hamilton.

  16. thegreatstoneface - May 6, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    so, the question end up being: you wanna trade mike sciosa, get a decent return of some kind for him, and we’re a month into the season.

    who’s going to trade for him?

    no one? yes, that sounds exactly right. and so…what’s the point of a ‘think piece’ that doesn’t really make you think much?

  17. scoocha - May 6, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Get rid of him, most teams would take him any day. He’s a great manager but I do agree that he probably should have won more than 1 WS title. He has had the NYY number for years too.

  18. hotkarlsandwich - May 6, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Tony LaRussa

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