Scioscia: Developing trust key for managers

Angels skipper believes Jennings can succeed with Marlins despite lack of experience

Scioscia: Developing trust key for managers

TORONTO -- Mike Scioscia is, in some ways, a relic. In an era when managerial turnover is at an all-time high, the Angels' long-time manager is a rare constant. Since Scioscia joined the Angels in 2000, 20 teams have gone through at least five managers and seven of them -- the Marlins, Nationals, Cubs, Reds, D-backs, Astros and Mariners -- have had at least eight.

The Twins (Paul Molitor), the Rays (Kevin Cash), White Sox (Robin Ventura), Tigers (Brad Ausmus) and Cardinals (Mike Matheny) are among the teams that have turned to managers with no prior managerial experience. And this year, the Brewers (Craig Counsell) and Marlins (Dan Jennings) moved guys directly from the front office to the manager's seat.

In other words, a trend is seemingly developing.

Several teams seemingly no longer value prior managing experience and front offices continually prefer guys who can implement its own ideas.

Scioscia had no prior experience as a big league manager when he took the job with the Angels in 2000, but he spent the five prior years gaining experience with the Dodgers as a Minor League catching coordinator, bench coach and manager in the Arizona Fall League and at Triple-A Albuquerque. Scioscia called that experience "invaluable to my own development, but I'm sure everybody is different."

"There's certainly no owner's manual when you come in to manage," Scioscia said. "But I do know you absolutely have to build trust within not only your coaching staff, but it has to translate into the room with players. That has to happen. However you develop that, it has to be developed."

Scioscia has seen three of his former coaches get big league managing jobs, from Joe Maddon to Bud Black to Ron Roenicke, who was replaced by Counsell on May 3.

The abundance of information now available to teams -- "it's staggering," Scioscia said -- has led to heavier involvement from front-office executives. Some have gone so far as to have one of their executives turn into the manager.

"I don't see anything wrong with that," Scioscia said, "but you have to understand that the manager is the one responsible for everything that's going on on a day-to-day basis with the team. It has to be in his hands to make those decisions, because I don't think there's anybody that knows the ins and outs of the team or what they do better than the manager or a Major League coaching staff."

Scioscia faced a major adjustment after the 2011 season, when a front-office restructuring by Angels owner Arte Moreno led to Jerry Dipoto taking over as general manager and bringing in his own team of executives. Dipoto and Scioscia were initially at odds, but they have fostered a healthy working environment. And over time, Scioscia has come to welcome input from the front office and value the reams of data it makes available.

"I'm excited about the data we're getting," Scioscia said. "Stuff that we used to have to guess at we're getting now in detail, and I think it's making us better."

The Jennings hire -- made Monday, one day after the dismissal of Mike Redmond -- raised eyebrows throughout the industry, because he never played past college and never coached past high school. But Scioscia believes it can work.

"There's nothing that says somebody in Dan Jennings' position can't go down and have success," Scioscia said. "It can be done. Managers come from a lot of different avenues."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.