Scioscia's tenure with Angels comes to an end

Longtime manager steps down: 'I've had an incredible 19 years. It's been just awesome'

September 30th, 2018

ANAHEIM -- Mike Scioscia's 19-year run with the Angels has officially come to an end.

Scioscia, the longest-tenured manager in baseball, announced that he will be stepping down from his post following the Angels' 5-4 walk-off win over the A's in Sunday's regular-season finale. The move has been widely expected, as Scioscia is in the final days of the 10-year, $50 million contract he signed with the Angels in January 2009.

"I want to make an announcement that I am going to step down," Scioscia said. "I am not returning to manage the Angels next year. In speaking with Anne and our family, there's no doubt it's the right move for me. And I think it's the right move for the organization. I've had an incredible 19 years. It's been just awesome."

Angels president John Carpino said the move was of Scioscia's own volition.

Before a packed news conference room, Scioscia fought back tears as he reflected on his tenure with the Angels, taking time to thank his family, his coaching staff and the hundreds of players who helped forge his legacy. , and were among those present, along with several Angels executives and coaches.

"We kind of knew this was coming," Calhoun said. "If it was going to be the last one, we kind of wanted to be there for him. He's been there for us for years. To kind of stand by his side in probably one of the toughest press conferences he's ever done seemed like kind of the respectable thing to do."

Scioscia, who turns 60 on Nov. 27, will depart the organization as the most successful manager in franchise history, steering the Angels to their first and only World Series championship in 2002, capturing six division titles and winning two Manager of the Year Awards. Scioscia posted a .536 winning percentage (1,650-1,428) with his 19 seasons with the Angels, the best in club history.

"The dedication and commitment Mike Scioscia has given Angels baseball over the last 19 years greatly contributed to our evolution into an elite organization," owner Arte Moreno said in a statement. "Mike's tenure as manager of the Angels includes six division titles, a pennant, and a World Championship that transformed this franchise, and its perception on both local and national levels. We will always be grateful and proud that the Angels played a part in his Hall of Fame career."

But the latter half of Scioscia's tenure with the Angels featured less success than the first. The Halos have not won a postseason game since 2009 and have only one playoff appearance since then, which ended in a sweep at the hands of the Royals in the '14 American League Division Series.

The Angels made a flurry of moves this offseason in an attempt to end that drought, re-signing Justin Upton, landing and adding infielders Zack Cozart and , but their playoff hopes crumbled under the weight of injuries. Their disappointing season ends with a fourth-place finish in the American League West and a losing record for the third consecutive year.

Reports that Scioscia was on his way out first surfaced in August, though he initially pushed back against them, calling the speculation "poppycock" and staying mum on his future with the organization.

Still it became increasingly apparent that the Angels were preparing for the end of an era as the final homestand of the season wound down. On Saturday, the Angels distributed bobbleheads in Scioscia's honor and played a series of video tributes in between innings highlighting his various accomplishments with the club.

"He's the only manager I played for, so it's tough seeing him go," Trout said. "But like he said, it's time for a change. It was fun playing for him. The passion he had for the game, to win. He always put the players in a great position to succeed. I can't thank him enough."

Added Ohtani: "I felt like he was excellent in communicating with me. He was always mixing in jokes, trying to make me feel comfortable. He made me feel comfortable, and he set up a situation so I could focus on baseball. I'm really appreciative of that."

The Angels have three internal candidates who will likely be in the mix to succeed Scioscia: bench coach Josh Paul, former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus and former Major League third baseman Eric Chavez. Ausmus and Chavez are currently special assistants to general manager Billy Eppler.

Scioscia's 19 years with the Angels constituted the longest such tenure in the big leagues since Bobby Cox managed 21 consecutive years with the Braves. It's also the sixth longest in MLB history.

While Scioscia said he is at his peace with his decision to leave the Angels, he left open the possibility of managing again elsewhere.

"I have a deep passion for this game," Scioscia said. "I love it. I love managing. But in this game you never know if, where or when an opportunity comes. And I'm fine with that. If something comes and I get another chance, great. If not, believe me, I'm going to take the great experience I had here."