When Mike Scioscia's assigned roles for Angel players are clicking, nobody notices. But when there is a rip near the seam, the exposed pathetic rigidity of these uncreative placings outrage even the casual SoCal baseball fan.
The Speier-to-Shields-to-Frankie countdown is designed to make a 9-inning game a 6-inning game. It works often. But when the wheels come loose, Scioscia rarely stops the truck to tighten them. Sometimes the win gets delivered. Other times, like tonight, the axle breaks and you are left wondering if this team will ever burn rubber again.
But it is not just bullpen management. Orlando Cabrera is not a Number Two hitter. He is not a Number Three hitter. But there he is, popping out with regularity in situations both clutch and bases empty. When Robb Quinlan gets into a game, he tends to be left in to face Right-Handed pitching after his usefulness (batting against Lefties) has been exhausted. These are situations that rest squarely on the back of Mike Scioscia.
Scioscia's rigidity in starting the worst offensive Angel of all time, Steve Finley, cost us the 2005 ALCS as much or more than Doug Eddings. The worthless Steve Finley remained in the Angel lineup due to Scioscia's rigidity.
It took Scioscia three seasons to finally start taking John Lackey out in the middle of bad innings rather than let John gascan them into oblivion. What will it take for him to tweak this team into the runaway success we know they should be? Why is Mike Scioscia seemingly allergic to improvisation? Is this season cemented into position regardless of in-game turns and unforeseen events?