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Thursday, June 10, 2010
Credit Scioscia for Angels' ability to hang in

By Richard Durrett

At least that's the opinion of ESPN.com's Tim Kurkjian. And I agree. Ron Washington predicted when Kendry Morales went out that the Angels would find a way to win games and stay at or near the top of the division. Why? Washington said the club's experience in winning divisions and Mike Scoiscia's important influence.

Kurkjian has an interesting column up about Scoiscia and what the Angels are doing. It's sure looking like they aren't going away this season, no matter how banged up they may get. Part of the story:
The Los Angeles Angels lost their ace, John Lackey, and their leadoff man, Chone Figgins, to free agency after last season. They lost their best hitter, Kendry Morales, last week after he broke his leg in a celebration at home plate. Plus, their closer, Brian Fuentes, is struggling with a 5.52 ERA. And yet, there are the Angels, as always, right around first place.

They have talented players, but the biggest reason for their success this year, and over the years, is manager Mike Scioscia. He, of course, will acknowledge none of this.

"It's his consistent approach to the day,'' said Rays manager Joe Maddon, who was on Scioscia's staff with the Angels for six years. "Whether they win or lose, the players see the same guy the next day. The players support that. And, he is fearless. He is never afraid to answer questions, even when something went wrong. It does make a difference to the players. They look at him as a guy who will put things on his shoulders every day.''

Scioscia has been the Angels manager for 10 years, and is signed through 2018. The players know he will be there in 10 years. They know if they don't play hard for him every day, they'll be gone in 10 minutes. That's the difference with the Angels and some other teams: stability in the manager's office. Since 1995, the Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, Florida Marlins and Houston Astros have each had eight managers. When players aren't sure who the long-term manager is going to be, and are playing for an interim guy, sometimes they don't play as hard. They have talented players, but the biggest reason for their success this year, and over the years, is manager Mike Scioscia. He, of course, will acknowledge none of this.

"It's his consistent approach to the day,'' said Rays manager Joe Maddon, who was on Scioscia's staff with the Angels for six years. "Whether they win or lose, the players see the same guy the next day. The players support that. And, he is fearless. He is never afraid to answer questions, even when something went wrong. It does make a difference to the players. They look at him as a guy who will put things on his shoulders every day.''

Scioscia has been the Angels manager for 10 years, and is signed through 2018. The players know he will be there in 10 years. They know if they don't play hard for him every day, they'll be gone in 10 minutes. That's the difference with the Angels and some other teams: stability in the manager's office. Since 1995, the Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, Florida Marlins and Houston Astros have each had eight managers. When players aren't sure who the long-term manager is going to be, and are playing for an interim guy, sometimes they don't play as hard.
The complete story is here.