Former GM Tony Reagins continues to be the fall guy in the trade that sent Mike Napoli to the Blue Jays (then Toronto dealt him to the Rangers) for Vernon Wells, but this deal had Mike Scioscia’s paws all over it. As he has for the past 2 seasons, Napoli busted a cap in the Angels’ ass again that allowed the Rangers to advance to the playoffs and put the Angels on the verge of watching from the sidelines for the 3rd year in a row.
In Sunday’s regular-season finale between the Rangers and Angels, Napoli drilled 2 homers and a double and drove in 6 RBIs as Texas sent Scioscia and his crew to Seattle, where they will need prayer and divine intervention in their final 3 games.
Unless the Rangers (imagine relying on your rival to give you a jump) sweep Oakland and the Angels perform the same feat against the lowly Mariners, Arte Moreno will have another massive failure on his hands.
Moreno, in an attempt to quiet all of the wild recent speculation, said a week ago Scioscia will return. Why? Granted, he’s a good manager (spare us that crap he’s the best in baseball, because if he is, what’s that make Ron Washington?), but I believe his control-freak ways have worn thin on a club which could use new leadership. Torii Hunter even hinted earlier in the season how Scioscia should back off sometimes. Even 1 of the greatest dictators of all time, Pat Riley, said years ago that players start to tune you out after 5 years.
But those words land on deaf ears in Anaheim.
Look at the A’s. The O’s. Even the Cardinals, who have done just fine without the grumpy Albert Pujols in the middle of their lineup, are close to securing another playoff spot.
Moreno could fix this mess and hire Terry Francona or maybe even Bud Black. He probably won’t, though, because he has Scioscia signed to a ridiculous deal through 2018.
But as long as Napoli is in a Ranger uni, you can probably count on him to smack the taste out of the Angels’ mouth. It’s a bitter pill for Scioscia to swallow, but it’s the cost of being a dictator. After all, someone has to be accountable.