Tag:Mike Scioscia
Posted on: March 31, 2011 3:36 pm
Edited on: March 31, 2011 4:39 pm

Scioscia: Morales closer to returning

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Kendrys Morales The latest news on Kendrys Morales is good, with the Angels expecting him to be able to be ready for a rehab assignment with the minor-league season starts on April 7.

"That would be the window we're looking at," Angels manager Mike Scioscia told the Orange County Register . "Obviously, we're not going to rush it. This jump from starting baseball activities to running 100 percent to being ready to play in games might come within four days, it might come within 10 days. You don't know."

Morales resumed batting practice on Monday and has also added agility drills and defensive work since then. Scioscia said he will "definitely" be running at some point during this road trip, which includes four games in Kansas City starting later today and two games at Tampa Bay.

Morales will be wearing new cleats and orthotic inserts when he does begin his straight-line jogging.

Scioscia also said lefty Scott Downs will also likely start the season on a rehab assignment in the minors, while Joel Pineiro is still on track to start the team's home opener on April 8.

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Posted on: March 26, 2011 11:37 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:33 pm

Pepper: Japanese players coping

Daisuke Matsuzaka

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Sometimes the nature of our 24/7 news cycle makes us forget -- or at least move on from -- even the biggest of news stories get lost in the next big story.

Even though Japan is still dealing with the destruction of the earthquake and tsunami -- and will be for years -- we're not hearing as much about Japan right now. It's only natural. But that doesn't mean that everything's OK there.

Yankees pitcher Kei Igawa went to Japan last weekend and was deeply moved by what he saw.

"It was pretty disastrous," Igawa told the New York Daily News through an interpreter. "The roads were a mess, and when I was home, the water wasn't running. It was pretty hard for me."

Igawa's parents and family are OK, but keep in mind his hometown of Oarai well south of the epicenter and 100 miles from the damaged nuclear plant in Fukushima. He said his house didn't suffer flooding, but did suffer damage from the earthquake.

The Yankees allowed him to return home, where he spent five days and returned earlier this week.

"Compared to the rest of the country -- especially up north, where it was much worse, I feel really fortunate," Igawa said. "I wanted to stay home a little longer, because my family and friends are going through  hard time. But I also had to resume baseball, because that's my job."

Igawa will start the season in Triple-A. He's in the final year of his five-year, $20 million contract.

Many other Japanese players are trying to come to terms with what's going on at home, as well.

"Fortunately, I am a survivor, but it hurts, of course," the Angels Hisanori Takahashi told the Los Angeles Times through an interpreter. "It has definitely been difficult to focus on baseball.

"Seeing all the [TV] footage, you get a little numb, but it's a real thing. I have to keep my eye on the tragedy, but I also have to play baseball here."

Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka said he's still too emotional about the situation to discuss it publicly, but he showed how he felt by giving $1 million to the Red Sox Foundation, which is giving all that money to the Japanese Red Cross Society to help fund relief efforts. The Red Sox said Hideki Okajima, Junichi Tazawa and Itsuki Shoda have also made personal donations through the Red Sox Foundation.

Matsuzaka joins fellow stars Ichiro Suzuki (100 million yen, roughly $1.2 million) and Hideki Matsui (50 million yen, roughly $620,000) in making large donations to the Red Cross for relief efforts in Japan.

BATISTA FINED -- Reliever Miguel Batista was the only Cardinal fined for last week's scuffle between the Cardinals and the Nationals. Batista hit Washington's Ian Desmond to start the fracas. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

BUCK FALLOUT -- We've already had Buck Showalter backpedaling about his comments to Men's Health about his comments on Derek Jeter and the Red Sox. Derek Jeter, not surprisingly, wouldn't comment on Showalter's comment. However, a look at the stats say Showalter's wrong -- Jeter actually doesn't get the calls on the inside corder. [ESPN]

TULO'S FINAL FOUR -- Finally, a Final Four that matters. You can now vote for one of four songs Troy Tulowitzki will use for his at-bat music. Well, to me they're all crap, but I'm not the target audience. Tulowitzki had "Party in the USA" last year, so the selections this year are just as bad -- "Firework" by Katy Perry, "Baby" by Justin Bieber, "We R Who We R" by Ke$ha and "Yeah 3X" by Chris Brown. Vote here. [Denver Post]

THE LEGEND BEGINS -- I'm reading Jane Leavy's The Last Boy  about Mickey Mantle right now, so I knew about the legend of Mickey Mantle's home run at USC in 1961. Well, the Los Angeles Times remembers it too. A really cool story on the birth of the legend of the Mick.

MILLWOOD GOOD? -- Is Kevin Millwood really that bad? Looking at some of the recent pitchers to have 16 losses and an 82 ERA+ like Millwood did last season shows some pretty decent pitchers have done that before. [Baseball-Reference.com blog]

HE'S NOT FAT, HE'S BLOATED -- Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal explains he was bloated from medication, not fat when spring training started. Furcal ate contaminated meat in his native Dominican Republic in January and the drugs he took made him bloated. He looked big when he checked in, but he was just 193 pounds, about the same he usually checked in at. He's now at 188, just about where he likes to play. [Los Angeles Times]

D-BACKS BULLPEN ISN'T BORING -- Diamondbacks bullpen catcher Jeff Motuzas has discovered bored, rich relievers will pay people to amuse them. So, Motuzas takes on dares to pick up extra bucks. Among the things he's done -- snorted wasabi, eater regurgitated yogurt, left hot balm on his shaved armpits for an entire game and gotten shot in the earlobe with a BB gun. Livan Hernandez once paid him $3,000 to drink a gallon of milk in 12 minutes. The two also had a deal that Hernandez could punch him in the junk for $50 a pop -- with a $300 bonus after every 10th punch. [Wall Street Journal]

BUT IS HE WRONG? -- An anonymous "MLB star" had several things to say to  ESPN the Magazine about the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera, including "why isn't Cabrera paying a guy $100 a night to drive him around? Plenty of guys do that. That he didn't is a slap in his teammates' faces." [MLive.com]

ROCK THE KAZMIR -- Mike Scioscia didn't sound too optimistic about Scott Kazmir when he announced the lefty had made the team's rotation. If Kazmir struggles continue into the regular season, Matt Palmer may be an option. [Los Angeles Times]

TOGETHER WE'RE GIANT -- Our buddy Will Brinson loves the Giants commercials. I found them amusing, but still not as good as the Mariners commercials. I like the Cardinals ones better, too.

RIGGLEMAN DOESN'T CARE ABOUT YOUR STATS -- You've seen some good commercials, now listen to a bad one. The Washington Nationals, MASN and Jim Riggleman are attacking stats in their newest campaign. Apparently a bunt or a "well-placed single" are "smart" -- and the walk is recognized as a good thing. But yeah, a pretty silly campaign.

THE NATURAL ON THE HILL -- Robert Redford will throw out the first pitch at the Cubs' opener on April 1 against the Pirates. [Chicago Tribune]

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Posted on: March 25, 2011 3:39 pm

Kazmir in Angels' rotation, dog house

By Matt Snyder

Scott Kazmir has a spot in the Angels' starting rotation to open the season. Just don't say he earned the job.

"Earned?" Scioscia said. "Define 'earned.' He will start the season in the rotation." (Los Angeles Times )

OK then. Tell us how you really feel, Mike.

It's tough to blame Scioscia for coming at Kazmir harshly. He was lit up like a proverbial Christmas tree Thursday and now has a 7.79 ERA in five spring starts. He's given up 23 hits and 12 walks in 17 1/3 innings (good for a dreadful 2.02 WHIP). The former All-Star was 9-15 with a 5.94 ERA and 1.58 WHIP last season in 28 starts. At 27, he's still plenty young -- if it feels like he's been around for ages, it's because he was promoted at age 20 -- at some point he has to start showing glimpses of his old self.

In fairness to Kazmir, his manager did want to point out it's not about his effort.

"Kaz has not pitched at a level we feel he can pitch to," Scioscia told the Times. "There's some disappointment in that, but we think the upside is still there to where we want to see where this goes in a regular-season game. Nobody is trying harder than Kaz. Though he's made strides, he's not where he can be and where we need him to be."

Keep in mind the contract. Kazmir is owed $12 million this season and has a $13.5 million club option for 2012. If that doesn't get picked up, and it's hard to see that happening, the Angels can buy him out for $2.5 million.

Basically, it seems like the Angels are pretty unhappy with Kazmir, but are giving him a shot in the rotation due to how much money he makes and their lack of alternative options. No wonder Scioscia was frustrated enough to let loose with the "define earned" remark.

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Posted on: March 22, 2011 5:18 pm

Angels shut down Morales

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Kendrys MoralesThe Angels have shut down first baseman Kendrys Morales after he saw a doctor in Los Angeles on Monday. The team has set no timetable for his return.

"We're going to have to take a half-step back to take a step forward," Angels manager Mike Scioscia told the Orange County Register's Bill Plunkett.

Morales was examined by the Dr. Phil Kwong, a foot and ankle specialist. An MRI showed no structural damage, general manager Tony Reagins said. Morales was diagnosed with soreness in the big toe and ball of his left foot.

Morales is trying to come back from last year's broken left leg, but the team said this injury is not directly related to the surgery he had last year, but the injury has slowed his recovery from that surgery.

"I'm real confident in saying he'll be back in relatively short order," Reagins told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. "I'm not anticipating him being out for months."

The team had already expected Morales to begin the season on the disabled list. The Angels will likely start the season with 25-year-old rookie Mark Trumbo manning first. Trumbo is hitting .340/.354/.766 with five home runs in 47 at-bats this spring.

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Posted on: February 25, 2011 8:23 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2011 8:52 pm

Morales only running only at '60 to 70 percent'

Kendry MoralesKendry Morales won't be ready to play in spring training games any time soon, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he expects his first baseman to be ready for opening day.

"What the time frame is for [Morales playing in spring training games] to happen remains to be seen but we have a long way to opening day," Scioscia told the Orange County Register. "By the time guys are playing every day [in spring] that last week to 10 days of the spring, hopefully he will be in the rotation at first base."

Morales will start off DHing and hitting in minor-league games.

But at what point do the Angels start getting nervous? The Angels open the season March 31 in Kansas City. For Morales to have the week to 10 days of spring training, he'd need to start by the 20th of March to get 10 spring training games. That's still somewhere in the range from 20-35 at-bats and that doesn't seem like it's quite enough to start the season.

Scioscia said he'd like Morales to get a certain number of at-bats, and he could get 40-50 in those 10 days with minor-league at-bats, but is that enough?

Three weeks out, Scioscia said Morales is running on the treadmill "while carrying only 60 or 70 percent of his body weight." Does that seem like something that can be overcome in three weeks? Perhaps, if there are no setbacks. If there's any kind of hiccup, Morales may not be ready for opening day.

If Morales isn't ready to play every day, it's likely Brandon Wood or Mark Trumbo will man first for the Angels. Wood has been hampered by a lower-back injury and hasn't been cleared to run the bases yet, either. It's unlikely he'll be cleared to play in exhibition games until later next week.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: February 24, 2011 11:34 am
Edited on: February 24, 2011 3:49 pm

Honorary All-Grudzielanek team

Mark Grudzielanek played in 1,802 games over the course of 15 major-league seasons. He appeared in uniform for six different teams, making the NLCS twice -- once with the Cubs and once with the Cardinals. He hit .289 with over 2,000 hits and 946 runs scored. He earned one Gold Glove and made the All-Star team once. He was a good guy who always played hard and was generally liked by teammates. Basically, Grudzielanek had a quality major-league career, but won't be showing up on any all-time lists.

That is, unless you are looking squarely at that stupendous last name.

So, in light of his retirement announcement Wednesday, it only seems fitting to put together an All-Star team of the best names in baseball. We're looking for who will carry the torch on with Grudz's departure, so it's current players only. No real criteria, other than that the name just has to sound interesting or be really hard to spell -- or both. This is completely subjective, so there's definite room for argument.

Without further ado, here is the 25-man roster (we also listed all names we considered).

CATCHER: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Red Sox. And here's the team captain. There's no better name in baseball. Backup: J.P. Arencibia, Blue Jays. Also considered: Francisco Cervelli, Yankees; Taylor Teagarden, Rangers.

FIRST BASE: Pablo Sandoval, Giants. Bonus points for having an awesome nickname. Backup: Kila Ka'aihue, Royals. Also considered: Justin Smoak, Mariners

SECOND BASE: Chone Figgins, Mariners. Real slim pickings here. Nearly every name for a second basemen is bland or common. We'll go with Figgins because "Chone" is pronounced "Sean" or "Shaun" or "Shawn." Also considered: Robinson Cano, Yankees; Dan Uggla, Braves.

THIRD BASE: Kevin Kouzmanoff, A's. Also considered: Placido Polanco, Phillies.

Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies. Alliteration gets him the nod here. Backup: Yuniesky Betancourt. Also considered: Marco Scutaro, Red Sox; Ryan Theriot, Cardinals.

LEFT FIELD: Scott Podsednik, Blue Jays. Also considered: Chris Coghlan, Marlins; Chris Denorfia, Padres; Ryan Langerhans, Mariners.

CENTER FIELD: Coco Crisp, A's. Another no-brainer. Second easiest pick on here after Saltalamacchia. Backup: Colby Rasmus, Cardinals. Also considered: Nyjer Morgan, Nationals; Rajai Davis, Blue Jays; Cameron Maybin, Padres; Denard Span, Twins; Ryan Spilborghs, Rockies.

RIGHT FIELD: Brennan Boesch, Tigers. Tough call here, but I'm a sucker for the alliteration. Plus, that's just a smooth combo. Props to his parents. Also considered: Jeff Francoeur, Royals; Nate Schierholtz, Giants; Nick Markakis, Orioles.

DESIGNATED HITTER: Milton Bradley, Mariners. Personal feelings aside, this was another obvious one.

STARTING ROTATION: CC Sabathia, Yankees; Max Scherzer, Tigers; Brian Matusz, Orioles; Marc Rzepczynski, Blue Jays; Justin Duchscherer, Orioles. CC gets the nod due to his first name being Carsten. Oh, and for losing the periods to his initials. The other four are pretty obvious with those last names. Grudz is surely proud. Also considered: Bronson Arroyo, Reds; Tim Lincecum, Giants; Madison Bumgarner, Giants; Gio Gonzalez, A's; Tom Gorzelanny, Nationals.

BULLPEN: Octavio Dotel, Blue Jays; Jeff Samardzija, Cubs; Fu-Te Ni, Tigers; Boof Bonser, Mets; Burke Badenhop, Marlins. All pretty obvious great names here, and I especially love "The Hopper," as the Marlins' announcers call Badenhop. Also considered: Brian Duensing, Twins; Joba Chamberlain, Yankees; Jeremy Affeldt, Giants; Jason Isringhausen, Mets.

SETUP: David Aardsma, Mariners. Based mostly on the fact that if you listed every major league player of all-time alphabetically, only Aardsma would come before the great Hank Aaron.

CLOSER: J.J. Putz, Diamondbacks. C'mon. He uses a double initial and his last name looks like an insult (though it's actually pronounced "puts," not "putts," for those in the dark).

MANAGER: Mike Scioscia, Angels. Maybe it's all mental at this point, but spelling that thing correctly still trips me up. Give me Grudzielanek any day. Also considered: Mike Quade, Cubs; Ned Yost, Royals; Manny Acta, Indians.

-- Matt Snyder

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Posted on: February 10, 2011 3:04 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2011 4:22 pm

La Russa now longest-tenured pro coach

Tony La Russa With Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan resigning , Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is now the longest-tenured coach with the same team in major professional American sports.

La Russa was named manager of the Cardinals following the 1995 season and is entering his 16th season at the helm of the Cardinals. Sloan had coached the Jazz since 1988.

The Angels' Mike Scioscia is second among current baseball skippers with th same team (1999), followed by the Twins' Ron Gardenhire (2002).

La Russa is under contract through this season with a mutual option for 2012.

The list of the longest-tenured coaches and when they took over (from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch 's Derrick Goold ):

Tony La Russa, Cardinals -- Oct. 23, 1995
Gregg Popovich, Spurs -- Dec. 10, 1996
Lindy Ruff, Sabres -- July 21, 1997
Barry Trotz, Predators -- Aug. 6, 1997
Andy Reid, Eagles -- Jan. 11, 1999
Mike Scioscia, Angels -- Nov. 17, 1999
Bill Belichick, Patriots -- Jan. 27, 2000
Ron Gardenhire, Twins -- Jan. 4, 2002

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: September 15, 2010 1:40 pm

Angels Scioscia would like shorter season

Mike Scioscia The 2011 baseball season will start on March 31 in an effort to keep the postseason from creeping into November, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia has another idea to keep that from happening -- shortening the season.

Talking to the Los Angeles Times ' Mike DiGiovanna , Scioscia said he'd like to see the division series lengthened from five to seven games and cut the regular season to 158 games -- four shorter than the current slate.

Scioscia said he doesn't expect the game to go to the pre-1961 154 games, that it would impact the money from losing those four home dates, but two dates would be a compromise.

"If you blend it, where you cut down some games and some dates, you could minimize the [financial] impact, tighten the schedule by a week to 10 days to accommodate an expanded division series and get the World Series done in October."

Scioscia is a member of Bud Selig's 14-member committee to review and examine on-field related issues, so he does have a little more say than most when throwing out these ideas.

Another idea suggested by many is more day-night doubleheaders. The day-night doubleheader puts two games on one day for the schedule's benefit, but keeps two different tickets to benefit the owners' pockets.

"From an ownership perspective, any time you lose a date, you lose revenue," Scioscia said. "A split doubleheader doesn't hurt revenue, but they're much tougher for players. I'm fine with regular doubleheaders, but I'm not at all in favor of split doubleheaders."

 -- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
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