Former LA Angels manager Mike Scioscia may finally get a chance to manage Dodgers
By David Rice
Former LA Angels manager Mike Scioscia was the best manager in the history of the Angels franchise. Scioscia’s teams won six division titles & a World Series.
The LA Angels had a great thing happen in 1998 that totally changed the direction of the franchise. No, Mike Trout was not drafted in that year (he was only seven years old at the time. No this was when Fox and media mogul Rupert Murdoch bought the Dodgers from Peter O’Malley which led to then Dodger coach Mike Scioscia being passed over for the Dodgers manager job.
A little over a year later Scioscia was hired as the Angels manager in late 1999 and three years later Scioscia had guided the Angels to their first playoff appearance in 16 years and ended with the Angels being the champions of baseball in 2002.
Mike Scioscia would go on to manage the Angels for 19 seasons leaving as the winningest manager in team history with 1650 victories which is 19th overall on the MLB managerial wins list.
The team that spurned Mike Scioscia the LA Dodgers had a great deal of success since 2000 as well. The team has made the playoffs 11 times reaching the NLCS six times and making the World Series twice, however the one thing missing is an elusive World Series title. All the success the team has had has made it great to be a Dodgers fan, but not winning a World Series now for 31 years now is eating at many Dodger fans as well as the Dodgers organization.
Dave Roberts has managed the Dodgers for four seasons now and he has won the NL West all four years and reached the World Series in two of the last four seasons. Roberts overall managerial record is a stellar 393-256. He has led the Dodgers to their first two World Series appearances since 1988. However, because of the Dodgers lack of winning the big one (the World Series) Roberts is now on the hot seat, especially with some of his managerial decisions being question in Wednesday night’s flame out against the Washington Nationals that knocked the team out of the playoffs.
The Dodgers management may be inclined to dismiss Dave Roberts and bring in someone else to manage the team next season. One of the candidates that could be a great fit is Mike Scioscia. Scioscia bled Dodger blue for nearly 20 years as a player and a coach within the organization. He seemed to being groomed to take over for Tommy Lasorda after he retired.
However when Lasorda had health issues that forced him to step aside in the middle of 1996 Bill Russell got the job and then when he was fired the Dodgers were bought by Fox and the media giant cleaned house of many of the coaches and staff and Scioscia was part of that purge. Scioscia was somewhat bitter about being passed over, but he made the most of the opportunity with the Angels.
Now that Mike Scioscia is not managing the Angels or any team for that matter he would be available if the Dodgers decide to make a change. Would Scioscia be the right man for the job? With Andrew Friedman as the GM being an analytics guy he and Scioscia may not mesh well. However, seeing that most baseball teams are heading in that direction, Scioscia may have no choice but to embrace this trend if he wants to manage again.
I, for one, would like to see Scioscia get another managing job as I think he is very good at his job. Why not bring home the Dodgers prodigal son and see if he can finally get the Dodgers over the hump. He was a part of both the Dodgers last two World Series winning teams and he is also a fan-favorite in Los Angeles because of his gritty, hard-nosed style of play he always exhibited in his time with the Dodgers.
It may be slightly premature to talk about this as Dave Roberts has not been fired and the talk of this happening does not have much traction. However, would you have guessed that Joe Maddon would have ever have been fired by the Cubs after winning the first World Series in 110 years and making the NLCS two other times in five seasons as the Cubs field boss. So anything is possible?
Let’s see how the next week plays out. Hopefully if the Dodgers do decide to fire Roberts it will not affect the Angels efforts to land Joe Maddon. If that were to happen the Angel fans hatred of the Dodgers would grow exponentially.