Mike Scioscia said Sunday after the season finale that he will not return as manager of the Los Angeles Angels, sparking an outpouring of praise from people who have worked with him in the organization for most of the last two decades.
The announcement ends months of speculation about the future of Scioscia, 59, who has led the Angels for the past 19 seasons. After a 5-4 home win on Sunday against the Oakland A’s, Scioscia finishes with a 1,650-1,428 regular-season record. He guided the franchise to a World Series championship in 2002.
The Angels ended this season with an 80-82 record, which marked their third year in a row with a sub-.500 mark.
According to Angels president John Carpino, Scioscia made the decision to step away.
Angels owner Arte Moreno said in a statement that he was grateful to Scioscia “for his time and devotion as our manager.”
“The dedication and commitment Mike Scioscia has given Angels baseball over the last 19 years greatly contributed to our evolution into an elite organization,” the statement continued. “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.”
Scioscia insisted that he was at peace with his decision. He was the longest-tenured manager with the same team in the majors.
“I’m really happy, guys,” he said, fighting through tears, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.
Scioscia did not rule out managing another club in the future. However, he told reporters that his immediate plan after stepping down was to enjoy a nice dinner with his wife at a nearby steakhouse.
Former Angels outfielder Garret Anderson also said that Scioscia “changed the culture of the Angels. We went from thinking we could win to knowing we could win. ... The first season he took over was the most mentally fatiguing season I’ve ever had because I bought into our two biggest thieves were yesterday and tomorrow. He taught me how to prepare for that day to win a major league game.”
Added former Angels infielder and coach Gary DiSarcina, “Mike came into the Angels organization at a time when we had a difficult time reaching the next level. His leadership, knowledge, work ethic, and confidence helped pushed the organization to new heights. Those flags you see out there ... flying beyond the center field wall say it all. ... and speak volumes about what Mike Scioscia meant to the Angels organization.”
Angels outfielder Mike Trout entered the room for Scioscia’s farewell press conference. So did Carpino and former general manager Bill Stoneman, who hired Scioscia before the start of the 2000 season.
“Mike encouraged the players to have an aggressive, team-first style of play,” Stoneman said. “His positive attitude enabled the players to focus on the job to be done today regardless of what may have happened yesterday.”
—Field Level Media