Not a moment of Mike Napoli’s post-season goes by without somebody rushing to use his success as a reason to kick Mike Scioscia. Which, in and of itself, isn’t really a bad thing. Mike Scoiscia has become an avatar for knowledge and baseball The Right Way in spite of, let’s say, ample evidence to the contrary.
Many in the media love to point out the success of Scoiscia’s Angels, teams which run and gun and steal bases and put pressure on the defense. Often forgotten is the impressive draft record and oodles of money spent to re-load talent all around the diamond. Not to mention lording over a four team division for years on end.
Much of the Scioscia-criticism comes back to one man – Jeff Mathis. Mathis is one of the worst offensive players in baseball history yet continually receives playing time. Lots of playing time. Often at the expense of Napoli with the nebulous definition of catcher’s defense the explanation.
Away from Scioscia’s keen oversight, Mike Napoli thrived in Texas. How could this be? Scioscia is the catching guru?! With loads of criticism and snark headed his way, Scioscia took to the ESPN airwaves to channel his cousin Karl and declare himself sick of this. Not unlike Mr. Welzein, Scioscia misses a few key points.