It was difficult to tell if Mike Scioscia was being polite or revealing when responding to owner Arte Moreno public assurance Wednesday of the Angels manager’s job security. Outside the owners’ meetings in New York, Moreno told FOXSports.com the chances of an in-season managerial change are “right now, zero.”
Asked if he needed that support, Scioscia was measured with his response but not his typical definitive self.
“I don’t know if it changes anything that I would do or anything I need to do on a daily basis,” Scioscia said before stopping himself in mid-sentence. “Obviously it’s… You know, like I said, Arte’s been very, very supportive from day one and continues to be. And it helps give us the best opportunity to get this thing going in the right direction.”
With only Miami and Houston featuring records worse than the Angels, there has been plenty of speculation Scioscia will be fired even before the season is over. The Angels manager is in his 14th year, but a contract that runs through 2018 can only be deterring Moreno from thoughts of firing him.
“The outside speculation is neither here nor there,” Scioscia said. “The chatter is neither here nor there. Going on 14 years this isn’t the first time you deal with this type of chatter. It happened. It happened before.”
Of course, Scioscia has never employed a payroll of $128 million, something that has only magnified the Angels’ shortcomings.
“Mike has zero problems, OK,” Moreno told FOXSports.com. “This is his 14th year. Mike goes beyond what he does on the baseball 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.”
Speaking of Scioscia’s affiliation with the Dodgers, Moreno went so far as to address the possibility of Scioscia becoming the manager of the crosstown ballclub if both he and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly are fired.
“I’ve heard it,” Moreno 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.”