Los Angeles Angels: Why Mike Scioscia Is the Best Manager in the AL

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Los Angeles Angels: Why Mike Scioscia Is the Best Manager in the AL
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Angels not only have a fearsome lineup and a stellar starting pitching rotation, but they also have the best manager in the American League in Mike Scioscia.

Scioscia is a huge reason that the Angels have been competitive in the American League West division since he was hired as their manager following the 1999 season.

Scioscia is the best manager in the American League for several main reasons.

 

1) Longevity

Scioscia is currently the longest tenured manager in all of Major League Baseball. He has been the skipper of the Angels since the start of the 2000 season. The next longest tenured manager, Charlie Manuel of the Philadelphia Phillies, has five fewer years at the helm of a team than Scioscia.

Having a manager staying with one team for so long helps in many ways. It helps a team maintain stability, builds a positive culture for players and allows for a great relationship between the front office and the manager.

That last reason is one of the most important things for a successful baseball team to have. A solid front-office relationship allows the team to add players that will benefit the manager's style in the most beneficial way.

 

2) Consistency

One of the reasons for Scioscia's longevity with the Angels is the consistency that he brings to the team. Since he was hired in 2000, the Angels have won the AL West five times and the AL Wild Card once.

The season that they won the Wild Card also ended with a World Series victory over the San Francisco Giants. The five division wins by Scioscia-led teams surpassed all other previous Angels managers.

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No other team in the AL West has won the division more than the Angels since 2000. That kind of success will usually always lead to the manager staying with the team for an extended amount of time. Scioscia is also the first manager to reach the playoffs in six of his first 10 seasons.

 

3) Team's Talent

A lot of Scioscia's success can be attributed to the talented teams that the Angels almost always put on the field. Year after year, the Los Angeles lineup is solid from top to bottom with a great mix of power and speed. They have also enjoyed great pitching staffs since Scioscia was hired.

Having a talented roster will go a long way towards helping any manager find success with a team. Scioscia has been very lucky to be the skipper of a team that builds well from within as well as adding key pieces through free agency.

 

4) Team's Payroll

Since 2000, the Angels have consistently had team payrolls that ranked in the top 10 in the entire Major Leagues. Having that kind of money allows a team to remain competitive year in and year out with general ease.

One just has to take one look at the Angels moves in free agency during this past offseason to see that they are not afraid to spend money on top talent. The contracts given to Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson were unfathomable for most teams, but the Angels ownership was willing to put up the dough in order to greatly improve their team.

 

Combining all four of these factors, it is easy to see why Scioscia has been one of the best managers in the American League. It is difficult to find another manager in either league who has enjoyed the type of success that Scioscia has since being hired.

With the imposing lineup and rotation that Scioscia has at his disposal in the 2012 season, it looks like the Angels will have another very successful season in the American League West.

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