The situation for the two Los Angeles MLB franchises is quite similar. Both have broken the bank to win, and neither is being successful at it. Both have well-respected baseball minds heading their clubs, and neither owners are particularly happy about it.
So why not switch?
The idea was suggested in the New York Daily News and has historical precedent. In the 1940s, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants essentially swapped coaches despite an inner-city rivalry. Now, the time could be ripe for another such “trade.”
For the Dodgers, their lofty $216 million payroll is inconsistent with their 14-21 record under Don Mattingly. Similarly, the Angels have spent too heavily to sit at 14-22, and Mike Scioscia is feeling the heat.
Both coaches are stellar former players and are well respected. They are both gritty leaders. However, neither is thriving in their current environment, and a change of scenery, though likely nothing more than an interesting scenario, could be beneficial to both.
Legendary Dodgers announcer Vin Scully said letting go of Scioscia was one of the three biggest mistakes (Roberto Clemente, Vladimir Guerrero being the other two) the Dodgers have made while he has been an announcer. The Dodgers are struggling to manufacture runs, and Scioscia is someone who has been trained in “The Dodger Way” to play baseball that puts an emphasis on small ball and sound pitching, catching, and defense.
After the Angels acquired Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, they became more of an American League team and less suited to Scioscia’s National League style (Los Angeles sportswriters joked that the Angels played the like the Dodgers during the last decade). Mattingly, who was once thought to be a potential successor to Joe Torre with the New York Yankees, may be better suited for the American League style of play the Angels may now be built for.
Tony Lee contributed to this report.