Poppycock: Angels manager Mike Scioscia denies report he's stepping down following 2018 season

Mike Scioscia is denying a report that he’s planning to step down as Los Angeles Angels manager following the 2018 season, as reported by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Major League Baseball’s longest tenured manager is in the midst of his 19th season after managing his first Angels game on April 3,​​ 2000.

“Nothing has changed since we talked last October,” Scioscia told the media Sunday morning. “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.”

At the end of last season, the longtime manager said he wouldn’t seek a new contract until after he completed his current deal which runs through 2018.

To date, Scioscia has compiled a 1,625-1,402 regular-season record, which makes him one of the most successful managers in league history. Only 17 other managers have won more games than Scioscia. Of those 17 managers, 12 are Baseball Hall of Famers.

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The Angels won their first and only World Series championship under Scioscia in 2002, besting the San Francisco Giants in a classic seven-game series. The Angels have reached the postseason in six other seasons under Scioscia’s watch, but haven’t returned since 2014.

Scioscia is also the Angels all-time leader in managerial wins with exactly 1,000 more than Bill Rigney.

Why would now be the right time for Mike Scioscia to walk away?

He’s human, after all. We all need to take a step back from time to time, take a breath and assess our future. For Scioscia, who’s in the final year of a 10-year, $50 million contract and turns 60 in November, there would be no time like the present.

Rosenthal adds that Scioscia’s decision to not pursue a new contract would be his own. The Angels have reportedly put no pressure on Scioscia to make a decision one way or the other. For what it’s worth, Scioscia tells ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez that his status hasn’t changed. For now anyway, we won’t get a clearer picture of Scioscia’s future beyond Rosenthal’s report.

Where does Mike Scioscia’s longevity rank among all-time managers?

This season, Scioscia tied Cap Anson of the Chicago Cubs (1879-1897) for the sixth longest tenure serving as manager for one team. Scioscia’s 3,028 games managed rank 20th all-time. He will pass legendary Los Angeles Dodgers Lasorda manager on that list with 13 more games in the Angels dugout.

Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia will reportedly step down following the 2018 season. (AP)
Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia will reportedly step down following the 2018 season. (AP)

Who could be managerial options for the Angels in 2019?

Rosenthal threw out several possibilities in his report in the event Scioscia does move on. Among them were three internal candidates. Most notably, former Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus was mentioned. He currently serves as a special assistant to general manager Billy Eppler. Former major leaguers Eric Chavez, who’s another Eppler assistant, and Josh Paul, Scioscia’s current bench coach, were also listed.

Former New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi will find himself atop the wishlist of every team seeking a manager this season. He’s already seen as a candidate for the St. Louis Cardinals opening. This will be Billy Eppler’s first time in charge of hiring a manager. That makes it difficult to predict how the process will go or which direction he’ll look.

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