Thursday, October 29, 2009
IF MIKE SCIOSCIA IS SO GREAT...?
It seems like the Sox play the Angels every year in the ALDS. And every time that happens, we hear about how great a manager Mike Scioscia is. How "aggressive" he is on the basepaths. How fundamentally sound his teams play. How great of a "strategist" he is.
Yet what nobody talks about with Scioscia is the attitude his teams have, the kind of personality and atmosphere the Angels' clubhouses display. In fact, managers like Terry Francona, who helps generate a calm and relaxed team atmosphere, are often criticized or even ridiculed for their strategic shortcomings. Being a "player's manager" is dismissed. When guys like Francona are compared to Scioscia, it's the guy like Scioscia who is often credited with being the better manager.
Mike Scioscia is 21-24 in postseason games. We saw in the ALDS, that his running Angels only stole 3 bases. They also ran into outs. And in the ALCS, we saw a tight, wound-up, choking performance by the Angels defense.
The Angels had the 4th best fielding percentage in the AL (.986), and the 4th fewest errors (85). They averaged 0.52 errors per game in the regular season. They made 8 errors in the ALCS. 8 errors in 6 games, 1.33 errors per game, well over twice as often as their regular season rate.
So maybe chess-masters like Mike Scioscia and Tony LaRusa can take a few tips from laissez-faire guys like Francona and Torre. Maybe Mike Scioscia isn't as amazing as some believe.
And I realize I should've written this a week ago, but I don't have a guy like Scioscia pressuring me, so I write when I want.