The Angels & Mike Scioscia: End Of An Era?


Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

At some point there comes a time when all things must come to an end. The Angels and Mike Scioscia are nearing that time period. The all-time leader in managerial wins for this organization has been at the helm since 2000, where he delivered the only World Series Championship in franchise history, and was twice named AL Manager Of The Year. In those early years during his tenure the team resembled his style perfectly. They were a hard nosed, tough team that could manufacture runs and battle to the last out.

The Angels are not that same team anymore and have changed their philosophy. The pesky hitters like David Eckstein, Chone Figgins, etc. are gone and have given way to a team that relies more on power hitters. An organization that was once conservative with money has morphed into a printing press that has a shoot first, ask later mentality. This has nothing to do with Mike Scioscia but is just a glimpse at how the club is and has been going through an identity overhaul. With that being said, its time to move on and have a new face as manager for 2016.

To be a big league manager with one club for 15 straight years is no small feat. But just like any other relationship, once the honeymoon period ends everyone starts going through the motions without fire or excitement. The next five years are arguably the most important in the franchise’s history. Mike Trout is the best player in baseball and under contract until 2020, as well as Albert Pujols until 2021. With so much money on the books and the talent currently on the roster it makes sense to have a new manager in 2016. Get a guy that can relate to this team, develop young players, and build relationships in order to have a realistic chance of one title in the next five years.

Supposedly Scioscia’s contract runs through 2020, but he can opt out after this season. The Angels need to work something out with him in order to have a fresh face for next season. Realistically, aside from the 2002 title, Scioscia has had troubles keeping this team consistent. Say what you want about injuries, contracts, and ownership but ultimately it comes down to the manager. Throughout his tenure the Angels have had glimpses of being a great team but at some point it always folds. The hunger from his desire to win just hasn’t translated to the club and hasn’t for awhile. It isn’t like he has lacked talent either, the club has brought in numerous big free agents and young prospects that just never live up to the bill under his watch. With the exception of Mike Trout, there is a VERY small sample size of players that have developed as prospects into productive big league players with the Halos.

To watch this team struggle the past few years is frustrating. I compare it to the end of the Joe Torre era in New York. The game is a lot different than it was in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, the old school managers seem to not work as effective as the new players type of manager. This club had and has enough talent to be a World Series contender, but they just have been stuck in the mud recently, which could be due to the manager. Look for whatever reasoning makes you sleep at night, but the bottom line is any message that Scioscia has tried to convey to his players hasn’t worked.

The window on this team is getting smaller with each mediocre year. Each year that a team with a player like Mike Trout misses opportunities to at least make it to the fall classic is another irrelevant year. The Angels need to follow what the Nationals did when they dumped Davey Cruz for a young, fresh, fiery coach in Matt Williams. This team needs a manager that will come to the ballpark everyday and give the club a shot of life. Moving on from Mike Scioscia isn’t easy, but its the right thing to do in order to commit to winning now and long term organizational success.

In any scenario, expect Arte Moreno to take a big pile of money and light it on fire.