Mike Scioscia has been the Los Angeles Angels manager for 19 years now. In that time, he has brought the Angels to the playoffs seven times, winning the World Series once. Despite this, the longtime manager may make his last Angels lineup card on September 30. If this is the case, it is important that the next manager realizes the Angel’s problem was not Scioscia’s strategy.

Despite recent team struggles, Mike Scioscia is a good manager and is the best the Angels have ever had. In the 30 years before he became the manager, the Angels had a .483 winning percentage. With Scioscia as manager, from 2000-2018, he had a .538 winning percentage. He was able to accomplish this through an aggressive yet strategic style of coaching

Though not a statistic normally associated with current Angels teams, Scioscia’s calling card is stealing. His Angel teams have been top 10 in the league in steals in 11 of his 19 seasons. Stealing bases ensure his team can remain competitive at any point during a game or a season.

While he has had success in years where stolen bases were not prevalent, for the most part, his coaching has led to the recent success of the Angels franchise. Below is a graph showing the impact of the stolen base on the Angels.

 

Season SB Rank Runs/Game Rank Standings/ Playoff Finish
2000 16th 11th 82-80 (3rd in AL West)
2001 11th 25th 75-87 (3rd AL West)
2002 5th 4th 99-63 (Won World Series)
2003 3rd 19th 77-85 (3rd AL West)
2004 1st 10th 92-70 (Lost ALDS)
2005 1st 11th 95-67 (Lost ALCS)
2006 1st 18th 89-73 (2nd AL West)
2007 3rd 6th 94-68 (Lost ALDS)
2008 4th 15th 100-62 (Lost ALDS)
2009 3rd 2nd 97-65 (Lost ALCS)
2010 11th 19th 80-82 (3rd AL West)
2011 6th 17th 86-76 (2nd AL West)
2012 5th 4th 89- 73 (3rd AL West)
2013 15th 7th 78- 84 (3rd AL West)
2014 22nd 1st 98-64 (Lost ALDS)
2015 29th 20th 85-77 (3rd AL West)
2016 17th 16th 74-88 (4th AL West)
2017 1st 22nd 80-82 (2nd AL West)
2018 11th 15th (As of 9/27)

78-81 (3rd AL West)

 

Even in years where the offense overall was lacking, like 2008 and 2005, the Angels made the playoffs. The steal itself can affect a game in ways statistics cannot easily show. It could lead to an errant throw leading to a run, or even take a certain pitcher out of the game based on the situation. Steals were the perfect weapon for Scioscia to bring the Angels to relevancy.

While Scioscia has done great things, there are reasons he should not return to Anaheim next season. One is that the Angels are trying to rebuild in a talented AL West division. While they do have most of the offensive pieces, the pitching is a work in progress. Even after nearly two decades in Anaheim, it wouldn’t make sense for Scioscia to be a part of another rebuild.

Despite regular season success, there is little postseason success outside of 2002 for Scioscia. He is 21-27 in the playoffs, reminding Angels fans of a different long-tenured coach in the NFL. Marvin Lewis has coached the Cincinnati Bengals for 16 seasons with a 0-7 record in the playoffs. While Scioscia’s record is not as bad as that, his last postseason appearance in 2014 was a sweep by the Kansas City Royals.

With that playoff record and recent playoff struggles, it would seemingly be time to let go of the longtime Angel’s manager. Even if this could happen, what Scoscia built should not be destroyed. He created a strong culture in Anaheim that has kept the team competitive even if the playoffs are unreachable. A change in culture could be catastrophic for a team simply trying to play .500 baseball.

Image result for sad scioscia gif

His time may be done in Anaheim, but Scioscia’s impact on the organization will be remembered forever. His heir, however, must understand what got the Angels to a point of contending and stick to it. Without that, the Angels would not only lose their best manager but revert back to the pre-Scioscia era of losing.

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Author Details
Content Creator at Armchair Anaheim Angels , The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
My name is Ryan Kanne, and I am a journalism major at Emerson College. I am a born Chicago sports fan but grew up in Chino Hills, California. No, I don’t know the Ball brothers, but I did go to their rival high school. I’m a big fan of the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls as well as the Los Angeles Angels, and Clippers, which means I’m very used to disappointment. I grew up in a sports heavy family, evident by me going to a baseball-themed elementary school and being named after a Cubs Hall of Famer, Ryne Sandberg. Talk to me about the MLB or NFL and I won’t be quiet for a while
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Content Creator at Armchair Anaheim Angels , The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
My name is Ryan Kanne, and I am a journalism major at Emerson College. I am a born Chicago sports fan but grew up in Chino Hills, California. No, I don’t know the Ball brothers, but I did go to their rival high school. I’m a big fan of the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls as well as the Los Angeles Angels, and Clippers, which means I’m very used to disappointment. I grew up in a sports heavy family, evident by me going to a baseball-themed elementary school and being named after a Cubs Hall of Famer, Ryne Sandberg. Talk to me about the MLB or NFL and I won’t be quiet for a while
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