As the Los Angeles Angels’ 2015 season came to an unceremonious end on Sunday, longtime manager Mike Scioscia’s future now comes into question, as Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register writes.
Scioscia, 56, now has the opportunity to opt-out of the final three years and $18 million dollars remaining on his contract. But after Fletcher spoke to Scioscia regarding his future, the Angels’ skipper offered little in the form of an answer.
“I’m going to see. I’m not going to comment on anything.”
A former 13-year catcher in Major League Baseball, Scioscia transitioned into a managerial role in 2000 with the Angels. In 2002, the Angels were able to end a 16-year drought of postseason baseball. Not only did they end the drought, the team was able to win the 2002 World Series under Scioscia’s tutelage.
He has remained the team’s manager since then, making him the longest-tenured manager in the league.
In the 16 years he’s managed the Angels, Scioscia has compiled a record of 1,416-1,176 (.547). But as successful as the team has been under his guidance, Scioscia could choose to leave his post after the controversy that transpired earlier this season. The controversy with former GM Jerry Dipoto marked the latest series of dysfunction in Anaheim.
As Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times wrote, the controversy between Scoscia and Dipoto became a big distraction that only extended Angels’ owner Arte Moreno’s long-list of questionable choices. Dipoto and Scioscia were reportedly at odds over Scioscia not properly relaying statistical information to his players.
Dipoto did not receive support from the higher-ups in the organization, eventually leading to his departure earlier this season. With Moreno backing Scioscia, that course of action led to “making him arguably the most powerful single uniformed figure in all of baseball,” as Plaschke writes.
Partnered with Josh Hamilton being traded after his relapse earlier this season and the team missing the postseason two out of the past three years, several players discussed how the year transpired.
Pitcher Hector Santiago simply labeled the year as “weird,” when he spoke to Plaschke.
“All around, a weird year in the front office with what’s going on with Jerry and then what happened with Josh. Definitely one of the weirder years for me.”
With the Dipoto versus Scioscia issues now in the past, the Angels’ latest move could lead Scioscia into making the decision to opt-out and avoid potentially running into a similar set of circumstances.
With the team officially eliminated from the postseason, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reported what many already suspected.
Source: #Angels expected to announce Billy Eppler as new GM tomorrow.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) October 5, 2015
Eppler had been the New York Yankees’ assistant general manager for several years prior to this move. In fact, he was runner-up to Dipoto to fill the team’s GM vacancy in 2011. With a new GM in tow, Scioscia may want to try and avoid the same tabloid-style controversy that managed to get more attention than the team’s on-field performance.
However, Shaikin took to Twitter mere hours after the Eppler announcement, saying that Scioscia is not opting-out.
However, before any official announcement from Scioscia himself is made, his future is likely still up in the air. The Angels’ future does have superstar Mike Trout, who is arguably the best player in the game. With the legendary Albert Pujols and several young pitchers like Andrew Heaney and Garrett Richards on the team, the Angels will likely be in position to compete in 2016. Scioscia being the man the leads them, however, is still a big question mark.
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