Mike Scioscia is a lightning rod around these parts. There are those that believe he is a great manager, and the only reason this team has a World Series trophy. There are others that think he's a good manager, who has possibly seen his best days fall behind him, as the playoff appearances and accolades began to dry up. There are also those that think Mike Scioscia is evil incarnate, or at the very least, a very bad manager and is the reason this team will never sniff a playoff series again, and he was probably never good to begin with, and that he drove away a smart baseball guy(Jerry Dipoto) on top of everything else, so Mike Scisoscia must be stopped.
Wherever you fall on the Sosh Spectrum, you've probably noticed that there are constant calls and pleas for him to be fired and sent packing. It's a staple of the Halos Heaven Facebook page comments, it's a regular refrain of the cranky Halos fan contingent you see in person(My step dad, every time I see him these days: "They need to fire Scioscia. I mean, c'mon."), and it's a sentiment that you've probably seen around here more times than you could possibly count. Mike Scioscia has become an official whipping boy for this team's middling output.
Is it deserved? Well, even that depends on who you ask. There were many people who began to feel that Scioscia was going through the motions as far back as 2011 and 2012, when the team was already a few years removed from the 2009 ALCS, but had quickly fallen off a cliff, meanwhile the slew of bad trades and huge contracts that we're still plagued with began to fall upon the team like a heavy, leaden blanket. Smothered in horrible player contracts and excess of worn out veterans, Mike Scioscia was resolute in his turning of pages after every loss, and was like an immovable oak when it came to his love of roles and "veteran presence".
Then came 2015, and a few years into Jerry Dipoto's time as GM of the Angels. The Fire Mike Scioscia sect of Angels Crazies was always and forever lit with an eternal flame of infuriating clamor when we found out that Dipoto was having beef behind the scenes with Mike Scioscia, and when he gave Arte Moreno an ultimatum, it was Dipoto who was sent packing(and is now the GM of the Mariners). If you loved Mike Scioscia, this probably had little to no effect on you, other than the loss of a good GM. To the Sosh Haters running pure on hi-octane derision towards #14, it was a bombshell. It was a herald from the heavens telling us all where Scioscia stood in this organization. Which is to say, we learned that if Sosh aint happy, Arte aint happy.
And that was all it took to launch a thousand Fire Mike Scioscia ships into the night. An endless stream of "Scioscia needs to go" mixed with mockery, snide comments, and jokes and barbs thrown ol' Mike's way. I stood on the side of the Anti-Mike Scioscia constituency, and have for years. The Dipoto debacle shot a spike of needling disbelief through my spine and gave me a fit of the Hate Shakes, for a good week or so, until I was just numb and shell-shocked over it all. Mike Scioscia is in charge, and WILL BE in charge of this team forever and ever(or at least through 2018).
I'm here to tell you, people: Mike Scioscia isn't opting out and will never be fired, so for your own mental health and in the interest of freeing up time to worry and rail about things that could actually be changed with this team, JUST GET OVER IT ALREADY.
Mike Scioscia will be the manager of this baseball club until the end of time, or at the very least, through 2018, like his current contract states. That's a couple more years of #14 in the dugout, and you can save yourself a ton of time right now by opening up your Word files or Gmail drafts, and deleting all of the missives you had planned to send out between now and then regarding the firing of Mike Scioscia. Honestly, I wouldn't put it past Arte Moreno to just give Sosh another contract after this one is up. We need to be prepared for that, in order to keep our sanity and keep us from devolving into 24/7 cantankerous Angels curmudgeons. Our family members and loved ones will probably appreciate it, but more importantly, we'll have a quiet, internal peace.
Just let it go. Mike Scioscia is ready to roll another couple seasons, with his new GM, Billy Eppler, by his side. He has the love and adoration of Arte, and a quiet yet loyal base of Sosh Worshipers, and he has his hands on the reins of the team, come hell and/or high water.
Mike Scioscia let us all know yesterday that he's not opting out, with these simple words:
"I'm coming back"
That quote will be inspiring and joyful to some, but to many, they are like nails on a chalkboard or scary enough to induce a scream that would make John Carpenter proud. They are ominous, like a big, red, looming thundercloud.
Mike Scioscia is coming back, so fine, go ahead and keep screaming into the wind about how and why he should be fired. Meanwhile, he'll just be finishing the last years on his contract, without fear or thought of being canned. It ain't happening. Do yourself a favor, and move on, or just accept Mike Scioscia into your heart, and let his long-tenured managerial wisdom wash over every part of your brain, erasing the last five years of front office acrimony and replacing it with a rainbow made out of delicious lasagna.
Mike Scioscia is not opting out, and not getting fired.
Turn the page.