MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Scioscia ready to manage Angels for years to come

Scioscia ready to manage Angels for years to come

NEW YORK -- Mike Scioscia is currently the longest tenured manager with a single team in Major League Baseball, now in the midst of his 17th season in the dugout for the Angels.

His current contract ends in 2018 and Scosicia told MLB.com on Wednesday that he hopes to manage through then and beyond.

"At season's end you always do a little bit of self-exploration," Scosicia said before the Angels played the third game of four-game series against the Yankees this week at Yankee Stadium. "Are you still doing what's needed to be done? Do you still have the passion?"

The answer to both of those questions is yes.

"I still love doing this," he said. "The bottom line to all of this is not only to love doing it, but to be effective. That's the key. If I can continue to do this and be effective and be part of a group that can get another championship, that's why we do this."

The pitching-poor Angels went into the game on Wednesday at 26-32, but Scioscia will let others judge whether he's still effective. Angels owner Arte Moreno has always been squarely in Scioscia's corner and that's why he's still around. When he started this in 1999 under Disney ownership it never dawned on him that he'd be with the Angels this long.

An extension would be great if offered, but Scioscia added that's not really in his frame of reference right now.

"I'm not thinking about next year or the year after," Scioscia said. "I'm just thinking about today," adding that there have been no such discussions to date with Moreno.

"I think Arte and I have a very candid relationship, a good relationship," Scioscia said. "He certainly loves to talk baseball. I love to talk baseball. He has opinions about things. I have opinions about things. He's been extremely supportive of, not only the whole team, but myself as far as being in this role. We all have the same expectations and that's to win."

Scioscia, a first-round pick by the Dodgers in the 1976 MLB Draft, was a hard-nosed catcher who owned the area around home plate, admitting now that he never would have been able to block the dish the way he did back then with the rules that are in place today.

Walter Alston (23 years) and Tommy Lasorda (21 years) are the only only other managers with longer tenures in their first jobs than Scioscia. And they're all limbs off the Dodgers' family tree. That's where Scioscia played, coached and managed in the Minor Leagues before he was hired to manage the Angels. Alston and Lasorda never managed anywhere else except the Dodgers.

"Mike's tenure tells you just how good a manager he is," said Joe Girardi, in his ninth season managing the Yankees. "I think he's an excellent manager and has a great feel for the game and his team. I played a little bit against him. He had a ton of toughness. I've talked to him a lot. He's a champion as a manager and player. I really look up to him."

Scioscia played for the last two Dodgers teams that won the World Series in 1981 and '88, and he managed the Angels to their only World Series title in 2002 when they came back from a 3-2 deficit to defeat the Giants in seven games.

He and Girardi are among only six current managers to win the World Series -- John Farrell, Terry Francona, Ned Yost and Bruce Bochy are the others.

Scioscia has been the mainstay of the Angels organization surviving through two ownership groups and is working for his fourth general manager, Billy Eppler, hired this past offseason from the Yankees.

Scioscia went through a period of turmoil when Jerry Dipoto was GM. Dipoto resigned early last season and is now in the same job with the surprising Mariners. Scioscia now seems genuinely relaxed.

"I feel really good with Eppler," Scioscia said. "Our conversations have been really good since he came on board. It's been fun."

Scioscia added that the greatest adjustment he's had to make in his managing career has been digesting the growing reliance on baseball metrics and analytics.

"I think the decisions on the field are exactly the same," Scioscia said. "The only difference now is that we have so much information that it does a better job quantifying that for us. A lot of those decisions used to be by feel, but now the process of getting to those decisions is much cleaner."

When it comes to the Major Leagues these days, only Bochy is in the same league with Scosicia, although his 22-year-career on the bench began with 12 years in San Diego, where his clubs won four National League West titles and the 1998 pennant. He's spent the last decade with the Giants, winning the World Series three times in the past six years and is working this season on a fourth.

Scioscia's .544 winning percentage will eventually auger well for Hall of Fame consideration, although Scioscia said among the current crop Bochy should certainly be elected.

"Bruce, no doubt," Scioscia said. "It's a no-brainer with Boch. How many managers have won as much as he has?"

No doubt, another World Series win at this stage of his career would bolster Scioscia's Hall credentials.

"But we have a lot of work to do," Scioscia said. "Our short-range goal is definitely getting our starting pitching where it needs to be. Long range, our organization certainly needs to develop more pitching than we have. We need to get pitching into our organization and get it ready to pitch at the Major League level."

Scioscia certainly is the manager to see that process through to fruition.

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.