Our loyal readers took umbrage -- a great deal of umbrage -- with this comment I made in the "Managers" post below:
3. Mike Scioscia
Smart and solid, he's extremely even-keeled, and his players have bought into his aggressive, NL style.
Whatever. He's fine.Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but I got hammered for it nonetheless. Let's go to the e-mails:
Mike Scioscia is FINE!?!?!?!?!?!?! Mike Scioscia is not only a terrible manager, he is a terrible, terrible person. Have you seen how much his teams do nonsense like bunt, hit-and-run and get caught stealing (led the AL in 2006). He is the quintessential target of FJM...not someone who you should accept as "fine." As a loyal reader, I am thoroughly disappointed.From Rob:
That guy runs his teams into outs so often it is border line insanity. He has had a better team than the A’s every year, yet he continues to lose division titles to them. The only reason anyone considers him good is his one WS title, which was kind of like him having a good run in blackjack while hitting 16 against a dealer’s 12 all game. Not to mention the fact that his team couldn’t even win the division that year. The only people that should be happy with the work of Mike Scioscia are A’s fans!And so on.
Mike Scioscia is not my favorite manager, and I do think he runs into too many outs and all that stuff. My blasé refusal to go after him is based anecdotally on two things: I thought he outmanaged Dusty Baker in the 2002 Series (not that that is such a big accomplishment or anything. Dusty couldn't even manage to keep his son from almost getting a brain-full of JT Snow). And he seems always to have some kind of plan -- e.g. (and I know it's meaningless) in that All-Star Game when he kept Hank Blalock out of the game just so he could hit for someone against Gagne, and then Blalock hit that HR and the AL won the game. Now, obviously, there is luck involved there, but I remember thinking about Scioscia that at least he had some kind of attack plan.
Red Sox fans who like Tito Francona -- and those who don't are idiots, frankly -- like him because in the first few months he managed the team, he told the media that he wouldn't always make the right decision, but he would always have a reason for doing whatever it is he did. That is all a team's fans can ask for. Not like "I hit-and-ran there because I wanted us to be aggressive" or "I wanted to try to make things happen," which are stupid by-the-book platitudes managers offer for mistakes and failures alike. But rather: "That pitcher tends to throw his curve on 0-1 counts, and Grendleman is a good curveball hitter, and we noticed that Blergston (their SS) cheats up the middle with runners on, so we figured if we could get a good jump and Grendleman could pull the ball into the hole we might be able to get Flornberger (our runner) all the way to 3rd with nobody out."
(Names have been ridiculousized for my amusement.)
The point is, Scioscia probably relies on outdated methods too much, and yes he runs into outs, and yes he does resemble Crazy Ozzie a lot in terms of the crap he does that we SABRists consider bad management. But he seems to me to be a thinker, and he seems to at least have a gameplan. This is, again, anecdotal, and on this blog anecdotalism is second only to McCarver Worship in the concentric hell-circle depth chart. But I would rather have Scioscia manage my team than Ozzie, La Russa, Grady, or maybe even Willie Randolph.
Also, to those of you who wrote in about skipping some people in the list -- yes I did realize it. I just found nothing interesting to say about those guys or had no quibble with their selections.
Stay tuned for JoeChat!
Labels: angels, managing, mike scioscia