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Mike Scioscia to manage Team USA baseball in bid for the Olympics

USA will take part in qualifier in Florida in June

Seattle Mariners v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

On Tuesday, former Angels manager Mike Scioscia was named the manager of Team USA’s national professional baseball team, as the team tries to qualify for the Olympics in Tokyo later this summer.

Scioscia’s first assignment with Team USA will be Olympic qualifying in June in Florida. USA will be in a group with the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Nicaragua in the eight-team tournament, with the top two teams advancing to a Super Round, from which one team will qualify for the Olympics. The second- and third-place teams from that tournament will advance to another Olympic qualifier in Taiwan from June 16-20.

“Mike’s tenure with the Angels’ franchise was nothing short of spectacular, creating and celebrating a culture of success with six division titles, an American League pennant, and its first-ever World Series title,” USA Baseball CEO Paul Seiler said in a statement. “More impactfully, his leadership, integrity, and character are unparalleled in our game, making him the perfect fit for the USA Baseball family.”

Scioscia managed the Angels for 19 years, winning 1,650 games with a .536 winning percentage, both tops in franchise history. Scioscia guided the Angels to seven playoff berths, including the club’s lone World Series championship in 2002.

But though this is his first managerial foray since leaving the Angels after the 2018 season, it doesn’t sound like he’ll be back in the majors any time soon. From Bill Shaikin at the Los Angeles Times:

“I don’t expect to manage in the major leagues,” he said. “That’s my decision.”

Baseball hasn’t been an Olympic sport since 2008, when South Korea took home the gold in Beijing. The United States won bronze that year, and in 1996, and won its lone gold medal in 2000 with Tommy Lasorda — who managed Scioscia in his playing days with the Dodgers — as Team USA manager.