Mike Scioscia Rumors

Jerry Dipoto Likely Out As Angels GM

9:54pm: Rosenthal provides an overview of the situation, writing that “he and his staff viewed Scioscia and the coaches as practically insubordinate” in declining to utilize statistical information.

9:15am: The current situation is “chaotic,” tweets Passan, with “high-ranking members of the organization” unsure whether or not Dipoto is still the general manager.

9:07am: Dipoto cleared out his office and told members of his staff he was resigning, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.

9:01am: A second source tells Crasnick that Dipoto is leaving the organization. (Twitter link.)

2:21am: Jerry Dipoto is “definitely out” as Angels GM after apparently resigning his post last night, sources tell ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. Multiple Angels players entered last night’s game under the impression that Dipoto was no longer at the helm, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports tweets.

While the club has yet to make anything official, multiple reports emerged over night suggesting that change was afoot. MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez reported that Dipoto was considering resigning in the wake of the Angels’ organizational tensions. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, meanwhile, tweeted that two sources told him Dipoto had packed up his office (though he noted the possibility that Dipoto might simply have been acting “out of emotion”). Crasnick tweeted that strife between Dipoto and manager Mike Scioscia had only increased since Rosenthal reported earlier this week that the two again weren’t getting along (after having also had significant disagreements in 2012). Crasnick also indicated that Dipoto approached Angels owner Arte Moreno with an ultimatum that “backfired.”

With the Halos experiencing a somewhat underwhelming start to the year, tensions apparently boiled over recently. According to a Rosenthal report, a pair of meetings called by Dipoto — one with Scioscia and his staff, and the other will both uniformed staff and players — turned “contentious” last weekend. The club’s top baseball decision maker reportedly drew strong reactions from an unnamed coach as well as Hall of Fame-bound first baseman Albert Pujols.

The immediate issue seemed to involve the manner in which information on in-game decisions (e.g., shifting, strategies against certain hitters) was distributed to players. But Rosenthal raised the possibility that there were deeper philosophical and relational differences between the club’s two key leaders.

The working relationship between Dipoto and Scioscia was once said to be nearly irreconcilable, but they had seemingly worked together in at least a reasonably workable truce. When asked about the report earlier this week, Scioscia said that the pair continued to “work together the same way that we’ve worked the last couple years” (via Gonzalez, on Twitter).

In recent days, however, those former hostilities had seemingly been rekindled. Two club officials spoke anonymously with Yahoo! Sports’ Tim Brown, with one telling him that there were “a lot of closed doors” around the club’s facility Tuesday, given the persistent tension.

The second source indicated that he or she felt the end result could be rather drastic change. “Something’s going to give this time,” said the source. “Looks irreparable.” Owner Arte Moreno had managed to patch things up previously, at least for a good stretch, but it remains to be seen what can be salvaged this time around.

Then, there’s the reported involvement of Pujols, the team’s highest-paid player, who has finally played up to his massive contract this year. The highly respected veteran said today that he was not going to comment on what had gone on in the clubhouse, as Gonzalez reported.

But Pujols did address the idea, as reported by Rosenthal, that he had said that the club simply does not have as good a roster as it did last year. As Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times tweeted, Pujols said he would never disrespect his teammates in the manner implied in that supposed comment. According to Gonzalez’s sources, however, Rosenthal’s report was quite accurate (Twitter link).

Regardless of what actually happened, there’s yet another layer to the controversy. Gonzalez writes that there was “anger” among the players that the story was leaked in the first place. And Pujols also called it “really embarrassing” (to whoever revealed the information) that the story had reached the public sphere. “We’re supposed to be a family here,” he said.


AL West Notes: Astros, Doolittle, Scioscia

The Astros employed a creative plan in the 2012 amateur draft, reports the New York Times. The club selected shortstop prospect Carlos Correa with the first overall pick. They then signed him to a $4.8MM contract – $2.4MM under slot value. That allowed the club to go over slot for Lance McCullers Jr. and Rio Ruiz. Correa is perhaps the most highly anticipate prospect in the minors. McCullers is currently with the big league club and has made three starts with 10.80 K/9, 3.60 BB/9, and a 2.40 ERA. Ruiz was dealt to Atlanta as part of the Evan Gattis trade. Houston tried a similar tactic last season, but it backfired when pitcher Brady Aiken failed his physical. They’ll probably repeat their plan when they pick second and fifth this June.

  • The A’s have placed closer Sean Doolittle on the disabled list with shoulder imflammation, writes Jeremy F. Koo of SB Nation. Doolittle had a MRI on his shoulder this morning, tweets Joe Stiglitz of Comcast SportsNet California. The test revealed no new tear in the shoulder, just inflammation. The previously injured part of the shoulder does not appear to be damaged. Per Jane Lee of MLB.com (via Twitter), there is no timetable for Doolittle’s recovery, although he will take at least two weeks off according to manager Bob Melvin.
  • Angels manager Mike Scioscia is in the midst of a 10-year contract that expires in 2018. However, Scioscia can opt out of the deal following this season, reports Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com. He would forfeit $18MM in salary if he opted out. For what it’s worth, a move strikes me as unlikely although he could use the opt out as leverage to negotiate an extension. As Gonzalez notes, it’s not unimaginable that Scioscia could be wooed by the Dodgers or his hometown Phillies.

Managerial Notes: Girardi, Scioscia, Gardy, Collins

As regular season finales are being played out across MLB today, rumors have already started to swirl about the fate of several managers. Here's the latest news and notes on that front:

  • Joe Girardi met with reporters today (Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger provides a partial transcript) and admitted he has yet to make up his mind about returning to the Yankees next season. "It comes down to family. They are first," said Girardi. "Whatever is best for the group of us, not one individual, not me or just my wife, or just one of my children, whatever is best for us as a group, that’s what we’ll decide to do. And that’s something I put some thought into, and I’m going to have to think about a lot over the next few days, obviously." Girardi added money will not play a factor in his decision. 
  • Many have speculated Girardi could be the next Cubs manager, if Dale Sveum is fired. Girardi, however, downplayed the connection to his hometown. "I haven’t lived there since 2006. I have a brother still there, a couple brothers there, actually. But my father’s gone. My mother’s gone. So there’s not as much there as there used to be."
  • Davey Johnson told reporters, including MASNsports.com's Dan Kolko, he will not manage in 2014. "I wouldn't know the talent level, wouldn't know the organization," Johnson said. "I wouldn't be a good fit. I never say 'Never' to anything. I'm always open for new challenges. But I don't see that as being a challenge that would get my motor really revved up.
  • Mike Scioscia told reporters, including Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, he has not been informed whether he will return as Angels manager. "I'm sure that at some point they're going to let us know," said Scioscia. "It's not an issue. It really isn't. It's going to be addressed at some point. I'm sure it's going to be addressed before February."
  • Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com expects the Twins to sign Ron Gardenhire to a two-year contract and presumes a decision on his fate will be made either tonight or tomorrow (Twitter links). 
  • If not retained by the Twins, Gardenhire could be a possibility to replace Eric Wedge in Seattle, tweets FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal.  In a separate tweet, Rosenthal reports the Mariners will also consider Reds pitching coach Bryan Price and former White Sox bench coach Joey Cora, who played in Seattle from 1995 to 1998.
  • The Mets have issued a press release announcing an 11am (CT) news conference tomorrow featuring GM Sandy Alderson. It is expected the topic will be a new deal for manager Terry Collins. People with direct knowledge of the negotiations tell Andy Martino of the New York Daily News the contract is for two years and about $2MM, with a club option for 2016. 


Angels Likely To Replace Jerry Dipoto Or Mike Scioscia

SUNDAY, 11:25am: Scioscia told reporters that there isn't a rift between him and Dipoto, according to the Associated Press.  "There's no philosophical differences," Scioscia said. "Jerry and I are certainly, as far as our baseball philopsophies, in line."

Scioscia went on to say that the only decision he's publicly had a problem with was the firing of hitting coach Mickey Hatcher last year.  Beyond that, Scioscia said the only other differences he's had with Dipoto have to do with disagreements in player evaluations, a normal occurence between a manager and GM.

FRIDAY, 5:18pm: The Angels are likely to replace either GM Jerry Dipoto or manager Mike Scioscia before the 2014 season, FOX Sports' Jon Morosi reports (in a series of tweets). Morosi explains that there are "philosophical differences" between DiPoto and Scioscia that make continuing on with both of them "not tenable."

Relations between Dipoto and Scioscia have been strained since, at least, early in the 2012 season, as Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times noted in May of that year. The two disagreed over the firing of hitting coach Mickey Hatcher, and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wrote in late 2012 that Scioscia also disliked assistant GM Scott Servais, and was "resistant" to using Dipoto's staff's statistical data.

Scioscia is signed to a ten-year contract that continues through 2018, with salaries of $6MM annually from 2016 through 2018. So if the Angels were to fire Scioscia, they would have to eat the remainder of that contract. Dipoto, meanwhile, is only signed through 2014. Scioscia's contract is mostly a sunk cost, of course, and hiring a new manager wouldn't require the Angels to pay nearly as much. There's also the possibility that Scioscia could end up with another team, thus limiting the Angels' obligation somewhat. Still, as Morosi notes, Scioscia's contract could be a factor.

Another factor potentially in Scioscia's favor is that he is not directly responsible for many of the Angels' most troublesome decisions in the past two years, including the big-ticket signings of Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton and the trade of Jean Segura and two other players for 13 starts by Zack Greinke. Scioscia also is not responsible for the Angels' farm system, which currently rates as one of the worst in baseball (although Dipoto, who has only been on the job since October 2011, bears limited responsibility for that as well).