Scioscia refutes report he plans to step down

August 5th, 2018

CLEVELAND -- There was an undeniable tension when Angels manager Mike Scioscia entered the visiting dugout Sunday morning at Progressive Field. About 12 hours earlier, a report from The Athletic (subscription required) by MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal indicated that Scioscia was expected to step down at the end of the season, ending the skipper's 19-year tenure in Anaheim.

Scioscia joked with reporters as he walked in from the clubhouse to lighten the mood, sarcastically asking what news could have possibly surfaced since meeting with media following the team's loss to the Indians on Saturday.

Scioscia's 10-year, $50 million contract expires at the end of the season, but he was quick to dismiss the report. He further emphasized that nothing has changed since the end of last season.

"Nothing has changed since we talked in October -- that's how I can put it," Scioscia, 59, said. "Nothing has changed. Sometimes there's always chatter out there, and the only word I have for it is 'poppycock.' That's what it is, poppycock."

Scioscia has been manager since 2000, and he has led the Halos to their only World Series championship in 2002 and six American League West Division titles. The two-time manager of the year said that after 19 seasons, he still loves his job and wouldn't address the issue further.

Scioscia also said he has no idea where the rumor came from.

"I think it's just chatter," Scioscia said. "That's all I'm gonna say about it. You can ask whatever you want., but I think I've said nothing has changed since last October."

Tribe manager Terry Francona -- who's managed 18 seasons and has been with Cleveland since 2013 -- said pregame he also talked to Scioscia and said he believed the report was nonsense. Francona also offered that what Scioscia has been able to accomplish in Anaheim has been impressive to watch, and that he holds nothing but respect for Scioscia.

"Unbelievable," Francona said of Scioscia's tenure. "That is quite an accomplishment."

Francona also said that he was worried about the timing of the report and how it could affect the morale of an Angels team that entered Sunday 55-57.

"I just wanted to let him know that I was thinking about him, because he's going to have to deal with that now," Francona said. "It is really amazing. From my own personal experience, I worry about shelf life. Not worried because you're losing your job -- I don't think I've ever worried about that. I worry because you want your message to be [fresh]. If your message stops getting listened to, that's not good. And you can't change who you are. So that's something that I think about a lot."