In a dreaded “vote of confidence” interview, Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno took to the offensive concerning his manager’s job security while speaking with Foxsports.com on Wednesday. Moreno was quoted (at an owners meeting in New York) as saying:
“Mike has zero problems, OK? This is his 14th year. Mike goes beyond what he does on the field. He’s a good person. He’s a good person in the community. A very good baseball guy. You don’t have to ask me. You just ask other managers, other baseball people.
“Look at 14 years’ worth of productivity. Look at his record. He has two World Series rings with the Dodgers. He has one with the Angels. We’ve been to the playoffs.”
There have been widespread rumors of a potential demise for Scioscia in the midst of a dreadful, 15-24 start for the Angels. Moreno has spent in the hundreds of millions of dollars on player talent (Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton among them) and with the pressure of an immense payroll, the expectations have gone through the roof in Anaheim. Without the benefit of a World Series win on his résumé, the rumors would likely have more legs, but as Moreno referenced, 14 years of production carries a lot of weight. In addition to his track record, Scioscia can reference the fact that his ace pitcher (Jered Weaver) is currently injured, and he’s been without prize bullpen acquisition Ryan Madson for the entire season.
39 games still qualifies as a small sample size, but the heat is certainly being turned up on Scioscia as each loss mounts. With rumors of Scioscia ending up across town with the Dodgers if he was let go (unfounded, but still out there), the scrutiny around LA won’t taper off anytime soon, and it’ll be up to the Angels high-profile roster to turn things around to quiet the whispers.