For the good or the bad, using a method of Top-down success, the manager is usually the first to be placed under the giant microscope of the organization's collective-eye. How is he doing? What is doing? Can we build with him? Is he the dead branch in our tree-of-success? What to do?
Then it ends with the question that reigns over every professional sport, every time - Is he the right man for the job?
Well, is he?
While Bobby Valentine is digging himself a hole with a giant, twin-diesel bulldozer, collecting the proverbial mud-in-face from all corners of New England and beyond, another coach is also beginning to break ground on his own hole of destruction. Only this coach is doing it quietly, with a simple shovel and west coast-protection from the main media that can't stay up with the three-hour time difference. Unfortunately, the situation has buried the team enough that analysts and experts have finally taken notice. Now, the same questions and concerns that Bobby Valentine has deflected in the past weeks are finding their way across the MLB map, landing harshly in the O.C. The shovel has been revealed and the Rally Monkey stands culprit, complete with dirty hands. Step aside, Mr. Valentine, there is a new coaching-buzz worthy of the sports pages.
Is Mike Scioscia shrinking or is he digging himself a hole, too?
Without question, Mike Scioscia has been a great coach for a decade, literally. He took a 15-year playoff drought into 2002 with the Angels and came out drenched in World Series Victory-Booze. That feat, now a decade old, anointed Scioscia into the select club of, don't-question-my-authority, I'm-a-winner, class. And win, he did. The Angels record since that time has been 703-552, including the franchises first 100-win season back in 2008 and a "Manager of the Year" award in 2009. He took a meager team, survived a name change, player tragedy and came out a success. What a decade it has been.
But, the past is the past. What happened ten-years prior does not hold a candle to the darker times, presently. And, don't be fooled by any on-field personal-success -like Trout, Trumbo and Sceond-Half Albert - the team is not where the owners, nor the fans, want it to be.
So comes the question. Can the Angels win with Mike Scioscia? The answer may be as simple as the argument used in many Top-down cases - A head coach may not win it for a team, but they can definitely lose it.
After the dismal series-sweep by the Rays, the Angels find themselves 4.5 games back in the Wild Card and 9-games back in the divisional race. Streaking in August is usually a strong job-factor taken into consideration by ownership when reviewing a head coach - Winning streak equals extension, losing streak equals dissatisfaction and termination. It's simple science.
The 4-game sweep by the Rays is the Angels longest since April, and even worse, the teams performance looks badly on Scioscia's ability to motivate during crunch-time. With an All-Star roster that would be envious of most other MLB coaches, the current slid is unacceptable, to say the least...the very least. Surely, Bobby Valentine is on that wish-list?
You bet he is. And don't call me surely.
Booby Valentine has had a deck stacked with injury, the one single team-killer that doesn't give warning. Scioscia, on the other hand, has been playing with a deck that is just, stacked! Yet, he loses. Regardless of the teams record, club house antics or whatever, missing the playoffs is missing the playoffs. Scioscia is signed until 2018, and he has done the Angels Organization a great deal of good. All true, and noted.
However, just like the Red Sox are not looking at Valentine's success with Mets, the Angels are not going to use the past to fix the future, either.