by Amaury Pi Gonzalez
ANAHEIM–Yesterday as I attended the regular “press Q & A” with Angels manager Mike Scioscia most of the questions were about the rift between him, his coaches and the team’s General Manager Jerry DiPoto. Scioscia wanted to talk baseball and he was awaiting to answer baseball questions, about pitching, hitting, guys on the disabled list, the regular mundane stuff managers talk from day to day during the long 162 game grind of the regular season, but Mike Scioscia got few of those questions, and many about the soap opera here that has been going on for a few years now.
Granted the Angels won more games than anybody else last season, 98, but that doesn’t mean anything if you do not win it all, and this owner Arturo Moreno, has spent the big bucks to make this happen, but it hasn’t.
During the off season the team picked up the option for one more year for Jerry DiPoto. This morning DiPoto resigned.
How did this happened? Things have gotten much more tense since DiPoto fired batting coach (and good friend of Mike Scioscia) Mickey Hatcher a couple of seasons ago, and hired Don Baylor.
This time the problem was scouting reports, DiPoto wanted them read to the players, Manager Scioscia and his coaches, for the most part have their own system approaching games.
The team veteran and super star Albert Pujols spoke and said that “the manager and coaches do a good work with us here, and they work very hard with us”. After Pujols spoke, and it was an endorsement of his manager and coaches. After that happened Jerry DiPoto had the choice of resigning, or probably getting fired by the owner.
Today we have a 4:05 game against the New York Yankees, the last of this three game series, and the Angels are going for the three game sweep, the Angels are holding second place 4 games out of the Houston Astros, who definitely are proving everybody wrong and look like they are not going to melt away. Weird, that usually with the NY Yankees in town with A-Rod and the whole circus atmosphere they bring, it seems to be some sense of harmony for a Yankee team that under manager Joe Girardi (his eighth season at the helm of the Bombers)the news and controversy was coming from the other side of the field.
Usually soap operas here in the LA area are produced about 35 miles north closer to Dodger Stadium, in the Hollywood and Burbank studios, but the Scioscia vs DiPoto soap came to its conclusion officially today. The Angels,(except from Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Kole Calhoun)have not been hitting as well as last year, yet they are in the run. After today’s game they go on a road-trip to Texas, Colorado and Seattle to conclude the first half of the season, and then the All Star break. The Angels will probably be buyers before the July 31st deadline as it looks today, together with the Texas Rangers, with probably Oakland selling. I do not know what can Seattle do, they loaded and re-loaded during the last few months and they still not playing .500 ball. Houston is the one team(among all in this western division)that really has the most young talent to trade, so do not be surprised if the Astros pick up another starter, to go along their #1Dallas Keuchel and #2 Collin McHugh, and if they do, they could even win this division. Yes.
What is next for the Los Angels Angels of Anaheim? Stay tune.
Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Spanish TV voice for the Angels and the Spanish radio voice for the A’s and does News and Commentary each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com