The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim may be winding down to a disappointing finish for the 2012 season, but that does not mean the managing tenure of Mike Scioscia with the Angels should come to an end. The Angels need continuity and not upheaval.
There is an interesting symmetry in Mike Scioscia's career right now. He played for the Dodgers over 13 different seasons. And he has been the manager of the Angels for 13 seasons.
He had postseason glory with both teams and had terribly frustrating finishes in Chavez Ravine and Anaheim.
He was in uniform for the Rick Monday home run and Kirk Gibson home run for the Dodgers. And he also watched the Joe Morgan and Jack Clark round trippers that sunk the Dodgers. Lest we forget he had a dramatic postseason home run of his own against Dwight Gooden in the 1988 NLCS.
And as manager of the Angels, he was the skipper of two startling defeats of the Yankees in the postseason, Adam Kennedy's amazing power display in the 2002 ALCS and of course Scott Speizio's homer.
He managed the Angels when they stunned the A's on the last weekend of the 2004 season to win the division. And of course he was at the helm for their only World Series title.
He also was the manager when David Ortiz and Jed Lowrie hit walk-off series-clinching hits against the Angels. And he is in charge this year, though the Halos will probably fall short of the postseason.
This year they imported Albert Pujols, C. J. Wilson and Zack Greinke and saw Mike Trout become an MVP candidate and Jered Weaver a Cy Young hopeful. And with a little less than two weeks left in the season, the Angels need a miracle to qualify for the playoffs.
What should the Angels do?
This has caused the steady and respected Scioscia to be on the firing line. Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels general manager Jerry DiPoto is standing by Scioscia. Obviously the notion of Scioscia being fired was real enough to bring it up with the GM.
Do not do it, Angels. For an organization that wants to emulate the Dodgers so badly that it claims to play in Los Angeles, it should copy its neighbor's tradition of managerial stability.
From the Dodgers' arrival in 1958 to Southern California until midway through the 1996 season, they had a grand total of two managers: Walter Alston and Tom Lasorda. Players arrived and left. The team won big and lost heartbreakers. But stability was key.
Bringing in a new manager, even a Terry Francona who has had success, would give that new manager a near impossible task. A new manager would have to take over an organization that would demand nothing less than a title after making such a drastic change.
Perhaps this team needed a year to gel. Maybe they will be better next year.
But it is not a time for a panic move. It is a time to build stability.
Scioscia played 13 years with the Dodgers, all with one manager—Lasorda.
The Angels can have a similar stability. They will win with Scioscia. They have before.