LA Angels Moments of the Decade #7: Mike Scioscia’s Curtain Call
There’s a lot of talk about when the next LA Angels Hall of Fame player will be. However, there’s no doubt who the next Halo in general will be to be inducted into Cooperstown.
When the LA Angels signed Mike Scioscia as manager at the turn of the millennium, there is no way they saw him lasting for the next 19 seasons, win the franchise’s only World Series, capture six American League West pennants, and build a rock solid Hall of Fame resume.
While it wasn’t the final season anyone would have hoped for Mike Scioscia (the Angels went 80-82 and missed the postseason for the fourth straight season), knowing that is was likely the end of his tenure leading the Halos made it a season worth watching.
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Nevertheless, I think every Angels fan can agree that watching Mike Scioscia’s final press conference following Game 162 of the 2018 season was… weird? For me, Scioscia had been the manager of the Angels the entire time I’ve been able to identify what a baseball is. He was the only manager I, and many other Halo fans, ever knew. Things were going to change, and they admittedly needed to. Seeing the end just still was not easy.
I think the thing I admired most about Scioscia’s retirement as Angels’ manager was how badly he wanted it to be a small thing. When reports surfaced midseason that he wouldn’t pursue an extension with the team, he famously called those reports “poppycock”. He didn’t have a big charade after the game, just the same reporters he had gotten to know and work with for the past 20 years of his life.
So what keeps the stepping down of Mike Scioscia, one of the greatest managers of the century, from ranking higher than the #7 spot? This is largely due to how his career ended. It wasn’t even necessarily Scioscia’s fault, but ending his Angels career with a losing record and missing the playoffs for the eighth time in nine years put a stain on his time with the Angels, especially considering how much we value the recent past.
Even if he did leave a bad taste in Angels fans mouths, there is no doubting that Mike Scioscia has a spot on the Angels Mt. Rushmore. He will be in the Hall of Fame one day, and #14 should be rightfully retired by the Angels as an ode to the best manager they’ve ever known.