Angels Staying Pat With Leadership, Make Second-Level Changes

After so much speculation that Manager Mike Scioscia and/or GM Jerry Dipoto had overstayed their respective welcomes in Angels’ red, it now has been confirmed that neither will be standing in unemployment lines anytime soon.

Amazingly, Scioscia is the longest-serving major league manager, having now led the Angels for 14 seasons. I’m sure that the fact that he also has the richest contract among all major league managers, and that it has another five years to go at more than $5 M per year, had something to do with him staying. Dipoto has only one year left on his deal, and for him, 2014 will definitely be put up or get out.

Someone had to take the fall, someone close to the action, and in this case it was two someones, as both batting coach Jim Eppard and bench coach Rob Picciolo have been shown the door. Picciolo was Scioscia’s right hand man as bench coach, and he will be

replaced by long-time third base coach Dino Ebel. A new face on the third base line will be needed, as will a new hitting coach. If there really is a rift between Scioscia and Dipoto, as rumors would have it, it likely stems from early 2012 when Eppard became the hitting coach, replacing longtime Scioscia buddy and hitting coach Mickey Hatcher, who Dipoto fired.

Former local stars Reggie Smith and Wally Joyner are among names circulating for the hitting coach spot, while Tin Bogar, a manager in the team’s minor league system appears to be the leading candidate for the third base coaching spot. Another coach or two may also be added, and another former Angels’ player, pitcher Troy Percival, could be in line for such a spot.

Maybe the club should focus more on replacing conditioning coaches, team trainers and team doctors, after a season riddled with injuries.

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