September 27, 2018

Nothing but Respect for Mike Scioscia

As the 2018 baseball season winds down, I’m filled with disappointment, a twinge of sadness and a bit of uncertainty about the future of Angels’ baseball.  It’s been one of those seasons in a decade full of “one of those seasons” where things just didn’t go as I had hoped for my favorite team. 

What looms as the biggest question mark for me is who will manage the Angels in 2019?

It appears to me; at least from I read and hear, this will most likely be the last season Mike Scioscia manages the Angels.  Some find great joy in that while a few of us, are saddened by the possibility of a future without “Sosh” managing our favorite team.

If you don't like Scioscia for whatever reason - I can respect that.  You're entitled, obviously.  If you are anxious for a change - I can appreciate that.  It's a perfectly logical point of view.  I just happen to be fine with Scioscia as a manager.  I happen to think he does very well with the talent he's given each year.  Last year the team had no business competing and yet it did for most of the year.  You can disagree... that's fine. 

Love him. Hate him.  I don't really care.  I won't apologize for being a Scioscia fan.  And when he's gone - I'll move on - but I will do so with great appreciation for what he's accomplished in my lifetime as an Angel fan.  Angels baseball has been a part of my life ever since I can remember and the Scioscia years have been the best of them for me.  I have great admiration and gratitude for him because of it.

I have loved the fact that he's the longest tenured manager with one club in all of baseball and one of the longest tenured managers of any team in any sport.  As a fan, I’ve taken pride in that.  Having that consistency has been great, IMO.

I just want to say, I admire MIke Scioscia - the man.  I think he is an individual of high integrity and I am grateful that he has managed the Angels for the past 19 years.  That’s where it all starts for me.  I respect the man as a leader and public figure.  He’s been the face of Angels baseball and for good reason.

I love the fact he doesn't seek the spotlight.  He lets his coaches take the opportunity to interview on camera (i.e. when the team has been on national TV and do live interviews in the dugout - it's always been someone other than Scioscia doing them, unlike other teams). 

He's humble. He's smart.  To some, he comes across as boring - but if you've ever seen him at spring training out on the practice fields – you’d see, he's funny, engaging and a tremendous leader.

Look, I've been as disappointed as anyone that the Angels haven't returned to the World Series. Winning it all is hard; harder than most people think.  Yes, there were lots of woulda, coulda and shoulda's to go around over the years and 2005 was especially painful.  I just don't believe the lack of championships is Scioscia's fault.  It's the organization's fault.  Scioscia may share in the blame - but for me it's not really about blame - it's about what did or didn't happen and there's a difference. 

Face it - only one team gets to be the champion and the best team doesn’t always end up there.  Luck definitely plays a role.  It's hard to grasp that - but it's true.  We don't like to admit it - but it's true.  Lots of things have to go right before a team can win it all and they definitely need a little luck along the way.

That being said, I think the Angels have been lucky to have Scioscia all these years.  By all rights, he should have been managing the Dodgers, but their poor choices ended up being a blessing for us Angel fans.

I don’t know if the Angels would have won a world series if it wasn’t for Scioscia.  He deserves much of the credit for turning a franchise that wasn’t taken very seriously into a team that was relevant, fun to watch and had a great run in the AL West.  His philosophy and his attitude reached every level of the organization.  He gave the franchise an identity and to some degree even a bit of a swagger.

He set new expectations and that more than anything changed Angels baseball. 

I will always be grateful for the leadership he provided to this team.  I will never forget how he guided the team through the tragic loss of Nick Adenhart; always keeping the focus on Nick’s family and not the team.

He has always exemplified what a leader should be. 

I just respect the man so very much.  I don’t like it much when people disrespect him because most, if not all of the people doing the disrespecting couldn’t hold a candle to who Mike Scioscia is as a person of integrity. 

I wish Scioscia all the best in whatever he does and wherever he goes next.  Most of all, I thank him for 19 great years which include the amazing 2002 world series championship and several exciting years of AL West titles.  I don’t know if this franchise will ever get back to that level – but I am grateful that we had the run we did.  From a fan’s point of view, it was a heck of a lot of fun.

1 comment:

  1. Well written James. Mike Scioscia will be missed.