Someday, hopefully, many of us will look back to this day, and this game, with pride, realizing just how good we have it as our newest crop of young players mature into what we hope is another championship team. I don't know how long these videos will remain available on the particular sites, but I can envision a time five or ten or more years from now, looking back at OUR MANAGER, and our players, commenting on what is a fairly rare accomplishment for a baseball manager, especially with one team. Says one writer, Michael Martinez, this really is "a big deal".
His strengths have been his attention to detail and an ability to absorb everything going on around him. If he had acknowledged talent as a catcher, it was a willingness to block the plate better than anyone else, even at his own peril.
Visit the links on the right side to listen to the words of Tim Salmon, Jose Mota, Hank Conger, and Dan Haren.
"I've played for a lot of managers in seven or eight years," said Haren, who has bounced from LaRussa's Cardinals to play for Bob Geren and Ken Macha in Oakland then Bob Melvin, A.J. Hinch and (briefly) one of Scioscia's former Dodgers teammates Kirk Gibson in Arizona before joining the Angels last season.
"He (Scioscia) ranks obviously at the top. He expects so much out of his players and he gets so much out of his players. He doesn't accept losing. It's been a pleasure playing for him."
Then come these words of cautious respect:
"I don't know if anyone else in the clubhouse could have thrown water on him," Angels starter Dan Haren said of Hunter taking the lead to douse Scioscia – who vowed revenge. "I know I wouldn't mess with Sosh."
"If he wants to get me back, I can't retaliate," Hunter said. "That guy is powerful."
It seems that Torii realized that just maybe he went a bit far.
Yet Scioscia, in his own recurrent, understated way, sums things up by saying:
"It isn't a personal accomplishment. As a manager, you are one part of this whole thing. I really feel proud that our organization is moving in the right direction. It is a team effort and I am fortunate and proud to be a part of it. Hopefully we will keep moving."
"Winning is going to build confidence," Scioscia said. "We got 12 more hits today against a tough starter and bullpen, so hopefully that will carry over."
Say or think what you may, we're lucky to have Mike Scioscia as our manager. If he were available, I can't imagine many other teams in baseball that wouldn't jump through hoops finding a way to make room for him as their skipper, and we would forever rue that day.