UPDATE: The referenced interview in below post took place in December. I was listening to the afternoon show on the station yesterday and for some reason I thought Scioscia’s comments were referred to as having actually taken place “this morning” - so I was under the impression that Scioscia’s interview was the same day.
Ken Rosenthal wrote it up at the time. Could’ve saved me some time!
You do 17,000 posts over eight years, occasionally this happens kiddos. Won’t be the last time.
Angels Manager Mike Scioscia guested Wednesday on the Angels-owned KLAA-AM “Sports Lodge” morning show hosted by Roger Lodge and Dave Smith in Orange County. While Scioscia is the manager of the team, it’s well-known throughout baseball that he also has significant say in the club’s personnel decisions.
Two months ago, Angels GM Tony Reagins went on the same station and said the club had no interest in Manny Ramirez. But yesterday, Scioscia contradicted Reagins, saying the team “absolutely” had interest in signing Ramirez. Audio after the jump.
Lodge to Scioscia: “Is Manny Ramirez a Mike Scioscia guy?”
Scioscia: “Manny Ramirez is a guy that as long as he’s practicing the game hard, playing it hard and producing, and is understanding of the team concept, which everything I’ve heard from guys who have played with him he is … he’d be a fit on a lot of clubs including our own.
“I don’t think it’s going to be anything like that that’s going to keep Manny from being considered to play for our club. It’s length of contract and resources that would affect any other player.”
Show co-host Smith then asked Scioscia, “So you’re all for it if things can be worked out?”
Scioscia: “Oh, absolutely. Talent like Manny’s is real, he’s a winner. Whether it happens or not remains to be seen. We would not rule him out because when he’s motivated, and he showed that the last part of last season, this guy’s one of the best talents in the game.”
This is also the same Ramirez who team Owner Arte Moreno lauded at MLB’s winter meetings late last year to the LOS ANGELES TIMES:
Moreno did not rule out the possibility of the Angels pursuing Dodgers sluggerif they are unable to sign free-agent first baseman Mark Teixeira, who is the team’s top priority this winter.
“He single-handedly took L.A. to the promised land,” Moreno, in an interview with AM-830 before the Angels Baseball Foundation Golf Classic in Newport Beach, said of Ramirez, who led the Dodgers to the National League Championship Series.
“He did a heck of a job, he hit great, he was a fan favorite, he did a great job with their young players. At the end of the day, you want people who can hit, and he may be one of top right-handed hitters ever.”
The main reason Ramirez isn’t an Angel already is Moreno’s past dealings with Ramirez agent Scott Boras. Moreno felt he was betrayed by Boras when former Angel Mark Teixeira spurned an offer from his club and went on to sign with the Yankees.
But a questionable offense and an endorsement from Scioscia I think may outweigh Moreno’s personal aspersion. Not to mention wresting Ramirez away from the Dodgers would be a huge coup for the Angels owner, who loves nothing better than tweaking the Dodgers.
In fact, don’t be shocked to see the Angels offer Ramirez a two year deal during Spring Training and the Dodgers then countering with a 3-year offer.
Regardless, it’s now clear that with the market non-existent for Ramirez outside the Dodgers, the Angels’ Moreno is his last, best hope of landing a decent deal.