How The West Was Lost
There is plenty of attention on Los Angeles baseball right now, but it’s for all the wrong reasons. Both LA teams (We’ll go ahead and consider the Angels a Los Angeles team for this exercise) have huge payrolls and are grossly underperforming. Both teams have offensive stars that are providing very little offense. Both teams have suffered their fair share of physical injuries, and it could be argued that something is limiting Angels “star” Josh Hamilton mentally.
Whether it’s warranted or not, much of the recent conversation about these teams and their struggles centers around the managers. People will argue both sides of the spectrum on this topic – Some will say that the managers aren’t the ones making mistakes on the field, and some will say it’s the job of the manager to figure out what’s wrong with his players and make the necessary adjustments. Either way, Mike Scioscia and Don Mattingly are squirming uncomfortably in their respective hot seats.
OK, so Mike Scioscia is one of the most respected managers in the game, and undoubtedly knows he would have offers waiting for him before he could get out of the parking lot at the Big A. Don Mattingly is no Mike Scioscia, but he’s still a respected baseball mind in his own right. It’s safe to say that there would be teams interested in these two guys if either were to get the boot.
Let’s take a look at a couple scenarios for the managers of these struggling organizations:
Best Case Scenario –
For the team actually from LA, the best case scenario would also be a dream situation for most Dodger fans. Dodger fans (I would think) would be giddy if the Angels’ struggles got to the point where they let Mike Scioscia go. Scioscia was a beloved Dodger, and I’m sure the reunion would be embraced by both parties. I would have to guess that even if the Dodgers started to win some games, they would have to bring in Scioscia on the off chance the Angels set him free. It would be nice to see Mattingly succeed in LA, but the chance to bring a guy like Scioscia home might be too much to pass up.
For the Angels, clearly the best case scenario is that the product on the field turns it around enough to quiet all of the hot-seat rumors. Angel fans would also like to see the team turn it around…so they stop sucking! Scioscia is the longest-tenured manager in baseball, and it’s for a good reason. If the Angels decided to fire him, it’s almost a guarantee that the guy they brought in to replace him would be a significant downgrade. Unless the Angels have a secret corn field out in Anaheim, they aren’t gonna see Connie Mack or Sparky Anderson calling the shots any time soon.
What Will Probably Happen -
Unfortunately for Donnie Baseball, I believe his days in Dodger Blue are numbered. If the recent acquisitions are any indicator, the Dodgers are likely to make another splash when they do eventually replace Mattingly. What might that mean for newsroom technicians? You guys might want to get the “bleeps” ready. Yup…I’m talking about Ozzie Guillen. I’ve been seeing plenty of articles suggesting that the Dodgers might reach out to the King of the Four Letter Words, and I agree. Not saying that I necessarily agree with the potential fit, but I could definitely see it happening. Guillen always draws plenty of attention – something that usually goes hand-in-hand with LA.
Meanwhile in Anaheim…let’s be realistic. Unless something crazy happens, Arte Moreno is not going to can Mike Scioscia. The man is basically synonymous with Angels baseball, and has led the team to some of their most glorious years. No matter how much I’d like to see the Angels lose their patience and make a knee-jerk reaction, it’s probably not going to happen.
The bottom line is that both of these teams need to turn things around on the double! Or maybe even the triple…