|'I have a commitment here, I love it here,' Mike Scioscia says. (US Presswire)|
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Mike Scioscia will return for his 14th season as Los Angeles Angels manager next year, and he called speculation about his job security and reported uneasy relationship with first-year general manager Jerry Dipoto "ridiculous."
Angels owner Arte Moreno told MLB.com on Saturday that Scioscia would return regardless of what happens in the team's remaining games, and said Dipoto would return, too. The Angels then went out and beat the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox 4-2 to move 2½ games behind Oakland for the league's second wild card.
Scioscia said after the game Moreno told him "a long time ago" that he would return in 2014. Scioscia, the longest tenured manager in the major leagues, signed a 10-year contract in January 2010 that runs through 2018.
"I have a commitment here, I love it here, I have a passion for it," Scioscia said. "I'm happy Arte feels the same way."
Two recent online reports, citing unnamed sources, said Scioscia and Dipoto, who was hired last season, have a "strained" relationship and Moreno has been upset with both of their job performances. However, Moreno told MLB.com "there's no problem between those two" and he said reports suggesting otherwise were false.
"A lot of the things that aren't accurate were being put out there and Arte put an end to it," Scioscia said. "The chatter seemed ridiculous for a lot of things. That's unfortunate."
The Angels have missed the playoffs the last two years, and their hopes for this season are down to the wire. Last winter, Moreno made a splash by signing slugger Albert Pujols and pitcher C.J. Wilson. Pujols is hitting .283, while Wilson has a 12-10 record with a 3.82 ERA.
"Some things stalled last year. We didn't quite get there the year before," Scioscia said. "We want to be here for this championship we feel is going to come. I want to be part of this."
Scioscia is 1,149-947 in 13 seasons as a manager, guiding the Angels to the 2002 World Series and five AL West titles.