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Angels' owner Moreno defends Scioscia, says his job safe

The SportsXchange

Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno on Wednesday gave manager Mike Scioscia a vote of confidence and said Scioscia will remain manager.

"Mike has zero problems, OK?" Moreno told Foxsports.com during the owners meetings in New York. "This is his 14th year. Mike goes beyond what he does on the field. He's a good person. He's a good person in the community. A very good baseball guy. You don't have to ask me. You just ask other managers, other baseball people.

"Look at 14 years' worth of productivity. Look at his record. He has two World Series rings with the Dodgers. He has one with the Angels. We've been to the playoffs," Moreno said.

The Angels at 15-24 entering Wednesday night's play had the second worst record in the American League. Only the Houston Astros at 11-30 have a worse record.

"Right now, in Mike's job, I have no questions about Mike," Moreno said.

Scioscia is under contract through 2018 and is owed about $25 million. There have been rumors that if the Los Angeles Dodgers decide to fire Don Mattingly that Scioscia might be their No. 1 candidate to take over.

Moreno denied those rumors have had any impact on his decision to keep Scioscia.

"I've heard it," he said. "Whatever. You know what? To me, if you're going to let someone go, you're letting someone go because you don't believe their performance is what your expectations are. If everybody on the team was hitting .300, and the pitchers were undefeated, and all our relievers had done a good job and we'd made no errors, we wouldn't be in this conversation."

The Angels have not been to the postseason since 2009, despite Moreno opening his checkbook to improve the team.

After signing free-agent slugging first baseman Albert Pujols last season, the Angels had one of baseball's highest payrolls at $159 million.

This past offseason, the Angels brought in Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton. This year's payroll stands at $148.5 million

But both Pujols and Hamilton have been disappointments. Hamilton is hitting.214. Pujols is hitting .242. Even with a lineup that includes Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo and Howie Kendrick, the Angels rank 11th among 15 A.L. teams in runs scored.

The Angels have the majors' third-worst team ERA at 4.66.
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