Multiple media sources in Southern California have been reporting that once this season is over. Mike Scioscia will be fired as the manager of the Los Angeles Angels Rumors have Scioscia wanting to move over to the National League if he gets the boot in Anaheim.
Meanwhile, the Washington Nationals are making a list of replacements for outgoing manager Davey Johnson. As you might expect some names on the list have major league experience, while others are guys within the organization like Randy Knorr, the bench coach of the team.
Any list for a new manager likely has on it a few names of guys they expect to be fired at the end of the season. So if say a Mike Scioscia is out there would he be a good replacement for Johnson? Well, he started with the Halos back in 2000 and is now the longest-tenured manager in Major League Baseball.
The guy is a winner, and he is the 56th manager to win 1,000 or more games and just the 23rd to have all 1,000 or more victories with a single team. He led the Angels to their only World Series Championship in 2002 and was named American League Manager of the Year in 2002 and again in 2006.
He works well with young players like Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo as well as vets like Jered Weaver. He has the Angels leading the AL West in runs scored, and that is without Albert Pujols, who has been on the disabled list, and Josh Hamilton, who is posting career lows in batting average (.226), on-base percentage (.280) and slugging percentage (.405).
My Rant Sports colleague, David Miller, penned a very good story giving some great reasons why he should not be fired. His point being that managers are often made the scapegoats when their players do not meet management and fan expectations.
However, after winning the American League West five times in the first six full seasons under owner Arte Moreno, the Angels are on the verge of missing the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. Recently, Moreno was asked by the local media whether he had decided if Scioscia and General Manager Jerry Dipoto would return next season, and he quickly declined comment through a team spokesman. That is not a good sign. Normally you would get the “we do not make choices like that during the season” or my favorite and a classic, “everyone knows how I feel about Mike, how could you ask me that question?”.
But this is a business where good managers are fired when teams with mega million dollar payrolls do not live up to expectations. If Scioscia is on his way out, as has been reported, you can bet that he will get an interview in Washington for the Nationals job.
He is a Philly guy and someone who loves the east coast, so getting him to D.C. would not take a great deal of convincing, given that he would have a team that is a year removed from winning 98 games and a National League East crown combined with an ownership group with deep pockets.
If the Angels are indeed finished with Scioscia, the Nationals would be a great landing spot for the skipper.
Rant Sports columnist James Williams is a seven time Emmy Award winning producer, director and writer. Follow him on Twitter @Wordmandc