Los Angeles Angels: Is Mike Scioscia REALLY On The Hot Seat?

May 15, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia (14) watches his team in the 8th inning against Kansas City. The Angels lost 9-5. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

 

According to the Los Angeles Angels’ owner, Arte Moreno, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, absolutely not.

“This is his 14th year,” Moreno told the Times’ Mike DiGiovanna. “…look at his record. He has two World Series rings with the Dodgers. He has one with the Angels. We’ve been to the playoffs.”

Indeed, when looking at the numbers no one disputes the fact that the former Dodger catcher is the best manager that the Angels have ever had, providing a stability at the top that had never really been in Anaheim on the way to being their all-time leader in years managed and victories to go along with winning the club’s only World Series in 2002.

However, in the grand tradition of “What have you done for me lately?” there is plenty of evidence that would lead to many managers being let go:

After being a virtual yearly participant for nearly a decade, the Angels have not been in the post-season since 2009, when they lost to the New York Yankees in the ALCS.

*  Despite having a payroll of $148 million and being picked as one of the favorites to represent the American League in the World Series, the team currently has a record of 15-25 (3rd worst in MLB) and sits 11 games behind the Texas Rangers in the A.L. West. Only the Miami Marlins and the Houston Astros – who won two out of three games against the Angels in a recent series – are worse.

*  The pitching has been the biggest factor in the Angels’ extreme disappointment to this point, as their 4.66 earned run average is the 3rd worst in the league.

In all fairness, the Angels’ troubles should not be completely pinned on Scioscia, as injuries have decimated the team.

I’m positive that Angel fans were screaming in horror when pitching ace Jered Weaver went down with a broken elbow against the Rangers; I personally thought that that was the point when the Angels would be in deep trouble.

Apr 11, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia (14) pulls starting pitcher Jason Vargas (60) in the sixth inning of the game against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

When one combines that with key guys like closer Ryan Madson – who hasn’t thrown one pitch for the Angels and is not scheduled to anytime soon – speedy center fielder Peter Bourjos and shortstop Erick Aybar all being on the disabled list, as well as Albert Pujols battling foot problems all year, it can be compared with going into a heavy championship fight with one hand tied behind your back.

And speaking of Pujols, whose foot injury is undoubtedly contributing to him underachieving with his .242 average, other factors out of Scioscia’s control have helped lead to this mess in Orange County; one significant factor in particular:

Not to completely paint him as a scapegoat, but after signing him to a $125 million contract over five years, one expects Josh Hamilton to be doing much better than a .214 average and 12 runs batted in.

Not to mention Moreno letting Torii Hunter go in free agency after having one of his best years in Angel red and letting the Dodgers beat him in signing Zack Grienke to a long term deal.

But…

One has to consider the reality of baseball, which is the concept of the only thing mattering is that the manager is effective now. 

And to be brutally honest, as much as I like the man and remember him most fondly from his Dodger days, I’m not sure if Scioscia is currently effective, as the hard truth is that the 2002 World Series title is history. In the baseball establishment, it’s what you do now that counts.

Plus – even though it would likely be denied in this particular case – coaches and managers have a certain shelf life before the feeling grows that they have stayed a bit too long and perhaps new leadership and a change in culture would be beneficial.

Does this mean that I’m officially advocating the Angels firing Scioscia? NO!

After all, who is to say that the team can’t catch fire and fulfill the pundits’ predictions of October success?

But the way things are going, however, especially after just losing two out of three to the Kansas City Royals at home, I just don’t know.

The Angels have a four-game series this weekend against the Chicago White Sox, who haven’t done so hot themselves as they are sitting in last place in the A.L. Central.

If these Halos are going to get well and make a real move, now is the time to do it.

 

L.A. Sports Hubbers, what’s your view of this? Do YOU think that Scioscia’s on the hot seat, or should be fired?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topics: American League, Los Angeles Angels, MLB

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