Not exactly the dreaded vote of confidence from Arte Moreno, Mike Scioscia did get the old “job not in jeopardy” call from a couple of sources close to the Angels inner circle according to Jayson Starks’ latest Rumblings & Grumblings. Scioscia, for maybe the first time in his decade plus as Angels skipper, is catching criticism from fans to the point where his job was being questioned.
With lofty expectations after signing Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson this offseason and hiring a new front office, the 21-25 start is less than ideal. The power divide around Angels stadium became more clear when Moreno apparently authorized Jerry Dipoto’s firing of hitting coach and long term Scioscia pal, Mickey Hatcher. The shift in muscle flexing has led to a noticeable tension between Dipoto and Scioscia plus they come from very different backgrounds of thought. But Moreno has made it clear that Dipoto sits in the GM chair by himself…
“If the GM had tried to fire Mickey Hatcher five years ago, or even two years ago, he could never have done that,” one source said. “But Arte has made it obvious that he’s going to let Jerry do what the GM is supposed to do, what the guys who came before him could never do. And that’s a big change.”
Of course, winning cures all. Despite being three games under .500, 6.5 games out of first in the West and owning a -2 run differential, the Halos are only 3.5 games out of one of the Wild Cards. If MLB had adopted four more Wild Cards, the Angels would be virtual playoff locks.
The Angels have won three in a row and have actually looked better of late. Pujols might be turning a corner, Mike Trout has been as good as advertised, Mark Trumbo looks like a better hitter than he was when he finished second in the AL ROY last year and the bullpen has been lights out after trading for Ernesto Frieri. Can Scioscia be credited for this or blamed for the slow start? Nah.
Most managers fall in the middle of the Joe Maddon (great) to Jim Tracy (terrible) scale. And unless a manager is really close to either end, he likely isn’t winning or losing games for his team. I believe Scioscia is still closer to the Maddon side of the scale than the middle so I don’t think he’s going anywhere for scapegoating purposes. If he does leave town, it would likely be due to escalating tension between himself and Dipoto.
I guess my point is that HIS CONTRACT RUNS THROUGH 2018.