What started out as a joke on Twitter has now become a full-fledged conspiracy theory.
Ever since the season ended last weekend, Angel fans have been waiting to see if Jerry Dipoto or Mike Scioscia would be fired. Just waiting... and waiting... and waiting... and waiting.
What could the delay possibly be? Rumors were months ago that one of them was getting fired. Surely they figured out which one in all the time since then, right? It is entirely possible that Arte Moreno still hasn't made up his mind, but if that is the case then it shows a concerning amount of indecision.
That got me thinking that there has to be a better explanation. The one conclusion that I refused to accept but couldn't shake from the back of my mind was that maybe the Angels have made up their mind to move on from Scioscia, but they haven't said anything because they are trying to trade Scioscia.
I fully realize how implausible that is. While it has happened a few times in the last two years, manager trades are quite rare. But with Scioscia having such a high profile and such a long, expensive contract that Moreno would likely prefer to not have to eat, then finding a landing spot via trade for Scioscia makes a ton of sense. What's more is that there are several teams that could have real interest in him. The Nationals just saw Davey Johnson retire and might want a high profile guy like Scioscia to come in and guide them back to contention. The Yankees might be a landing spot if Joe Girardi jumps ship to the Cubs. The Reds just fired Dusty Baker and very much still have World Series aspirations. Heck, even the Mariners might go after Scioscia in their desperate attempt to gain legitimacy.
I know, it is crazy, but it is crazy like a fox, no?
If you are a real conspiracy theorist, you could dig even further for evidence. For example, since Thursday there has been rumor that the Angels had a press conference announced for Friday. This was reported by the Angels' own radio station as well as Buster Olney. That press conference has since been mysteriously canceled. It is almost like they had some big deal to announce but had to scrap it because the deal wasn't quite complete. Hmmmmm.
It is a whacko conspiracy theory, but it makes a lot more sense to me than Moreno having still not made up his mind or the team delaying an announcement for reasons that are yet to be fully understood despite the organizational meetings set to commence in less than a week.
Whacko conspiracy theory it may be, but every once in a while, those theories turn out to be right.
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Makes sense to me. Somebody else picks up Mike's contract (or, as he's done so often, Arte picks up part of it...the last couple of years, probably).
Arte fired Tony Reagans (the Angels' Howdy Doody) 2 days after the season...and that was after only 2 years away from the playoffs, so he didn't show any indecision there.
It could also be that Arte has decided that he wants to change both guys, but he hasn't signed the people he wants yet...Or at least he knows whom he wants as GM and can't come to terms yet...or can't announce it yet because he's coming from a playoff team...and the new GM has made it clear he won't come unless he can bring in his own manager...something Jerry should have done, but probably didn't have enough leverage with (then) 7 years left on Mike's contract. Could also be that Jerry has convinced Arte to let Mike go, but, again, won't make the announcement until after the post season is finished.
Arte won't make announce that Mike and/or Jerry are gone unless he has somebody else in place. If he doesn't get whom he wants, he'll go ahead with the guys he's already obligated to pay.
All I know is this team hasn't played with any life for the better part of four years. They died like dogs when, even with one win, they could have ended the Rangers' season. Gene Autry would have fired Scioscia 2 years ago. I don't expect things to be much better next year...especially if Scioscia wins the power struggle and the team returns to its ping pong offense. Arte's only forestalling the inevitable by waiting to make a move.
Trading Mike would be one of the shrewdest moves any GM could make. Change direction. Save your boss money. Get rid of an enemy. Brilliant! (And Jerry has shown he's smart enough to think of something like this...the Joe Blanton move notwithstanding.)
Well, THAT'S an interesting idea. Isn't there some formal or informal rule that deals don't get announced until after the playoffs and World Series? Which of these teams not called the Mariners has the best farm system? And what is a manager worth? Top brass in Cincinnati had it's collective eye on a trip deep into the post-season and was said to have been furious at getting the boot in the one game playoff, thus precipitating the firing of workout buddy Dusty Baker. Yup, we worked out together at the Jack LaLanne's in Reseda back in the 70's while he was playing for the Dodgers and living in Woodland Hills (Dude was covered in old-timey surgery scars, I can't believe he played as long as he did.). Anyway, it's pretty obvious they felt the millstone around the team's neck was the manager so goodbye, Dusty. The above proposal matches up perfectly with the Reds. While not exactly famous for cranking out top-flight pitching they must have somebody in the minors the Angels can use.
OK, so maybe "buddies" is too strong a word. I would work in with him on some of the machines once in a while when our workouts coincided. But I did have a nice baseball chat with Kevin Kennedy in the checkout line at the Costco in Canoga Park. We were shopping buddies.
@Rick K. It's probably not about whatever we're going to get back, just about dumping the contract. As much as I like Scioscia, I think catchers are getting better trained at throwing out base stealers at his expense. Still think Dipoto should go cause Scioscia is still hitting and running at the best times
Oh, it could very well be true that the big return isn't the goal. But a team that feels they were a manager away from the big games might be willing to, you know, sweeten the pot a little.