The Angels are currently 8-12, tied for last place in the A.L. West. They’ve gone 2-10 after a franchise-best 6-2 start. Their run differential of -20 is the worst in the American League. The offense has failed to get anything going despite boasting the best player in baseball in Mike Trout and a first-ballot Hall of Famer in Albert Pujols. So who’s to blame for this subpar outing? The Angels have some injuries, yes, but losing Garrett Richards doesn’t affect the offense. Closer Cam Bedrosian just went on the DL this weekend. Luis Valbuena isn’t exactly an All-Star. Huston Street shouldn’t have been counted on to stay healthy, anyway.
Then there’s Mike Scioscia. The manager has presided over the one and only championship in Halo history, and is easily the best manager the team has ever had. The Angels don’t exactly have a rich history. Anyway, all that being said, the team has routinely dug huge holes for itself to start seasons, and he shouldn’t escape blame for that. Not to mention that no manager or coach in any other sport has kept their job through as many abject failures as long as Scioscia has. The Angels have made the playoffs only once in the last seven years, winning exactly zero playoff games in the process, in spite of boasting huge payrolls with numerous All-Stars.
In his seventeen years as manager, Scioscia has taken the team to the playoffs only seven times. That means ten of his seventeen years the team has gone home early, in case you couldn’t do the math. Only one of those seven trips ended in a championship. Find me another manager who has that type of track record. There is no precedent because it hasn’t happened. No manager has coached a team for that long, missed out on the playoffs more times than they’ve gone, and only had one championship to show for it, all with the same team. I don’t know what’s worse; the fact that all of that is true, or that he’s still the Halos’ best manager of all time. Like I said, it’s not a rich history here in Anaheim.
Look, I like Scisocia, but the fact of the matter is that he’s benefited from presiding over what happens to be the best period in Angels History. From 2002-2009, the Halos made the playoffs six times, winning the A.L. West four times. Of the Angels’ ten postseason trips, Scioscia has managed for seven of them. That stretch of success compared to the rest of the Halos’ history makes Scioscia seem like he’s a better manager than he is. The truth is, no other manager would have lasted this long. It’s been fifteen years since the Angels won the World Series. It’s been eight years since they even won a single playoff game. It’s unprecedented for a manager to survive a stretch like this. With all that said, would the Angels ever consider firing Scioscia mid-season?
The easy answer is no way. Because Scioscia oversaw that run of success, he’s basically been giving a free pass every year. Every year the Angels underachieve, there’s a built-in excuse that protects Scioscia. Injuries. Bad relationship with the front office. Nothing to work with on the field. So, if Scioscia has survived for this long, it’s hard to see the Angels cutting the cord mid-season. Something has to give, though. The team is just flat out underperforming, and although they may not be legitimate contenders, they should be better than they’ve shown so far. Maybe if the team falls to twenty games under in May, they’ll have no choice but to make a change. At this point, though, it’s hard to envision Scioscia not lasting through the year unless something drastic like they fall twenty games under .500 or lose twenty in a row.