Mike Scioscia is hardly guaranteed to return as the Los Angeles Angels’ manager next year, but reports that he is set to step down after this season are not accurate. Or, to put it another way, they’re nothing more than “poppycock.”
At least, that’s according to Scioscia, who dropped an old-school expletive on reporters Sunday following a report by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal that MLB’s longest-tenured manager has entered the final two months of his 19-year stint with the Angels. Scioscia, 59, said his situation had not changed since he addressed his job status after the 2017 season, when he said he would not seek an extension this year but would discuss the matter with team officials after the season.
The Angels’ 2017 campaign ended with an 80-82 record and the team out of the playoffs for the seventh time in the past eight seasons. They’re 55-58 (and 16 games back in the AL West) this season following a 4-3 loss Sunday at the Cleveland Indians, while suffering from a spate of injuries.
“Nothing has changed since we talked last October,” Scioscia said before the game (via the Orange County Register). “That’s the best way I can put it. There’s always chatter out there. The only word I have is poppycock. That’s all it is.”
Scioscia provided a few more words later in the day, after USA Today’s Bob Nightengale offered another report based on information from sources close to the situation. Scioscia had “made up his mind before spring training this would be his final season, not only as Angels’ manager, but with no intention to manage again,” Nightengale wrote.
“This is insanity,” Scioscia said in response to that story, passing up the chance to use a word such as “balderdash.”
Adding to speculation about Scioscia’s future is the fact that he is in the final year of a 10-year, $50 million contract. That deal was inked shortly after he led the Angels to the only 100-win season in franchise history, furthering his status as the most successful manager in team annals. He followed it up with a 97-win campaign in 2009, including a spot in that year’s ALCS and his second AL manager of the year award.
At that point, Scioscia was 900-720 over his first 10 years with the Angels, including six postseason berths and the team’s only World Series title, but since then he has gone 725-684, with one playoff appearance, a sweep at the hands of the Kansas City Royals in a 2014 division series. His longevity with the Angels is reflected in the fact that, among the four major U.S. pro sports leagues, only the San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich is in the midst of a longer run (22 seasons) as his team’s coach.
According to ESPN, since Scioscia was hired in 2000, 111 other managers have held an MLB job, plus 20 more with interim titles, with the Marlins employing a league-leading nine in that span. Scioscia’s 1,625 wins are 18th all-time, while his 1,404 losses are 22nd.
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