Mike Scioscia: ‘This Game Will Never Survive Gambling’

Josh Hamilton, Mike Scioscia
The Associated Press

Count Mike Scioscia among those who support Major League Baseball’s ban on Pete Rose.

Responding to a query from MLB.com’s Angels Beat reporter Alden Gonzales about evidence that Pete Rose bet on baseball while he was playing, Angels manager Mike Scioscia minced no words about the danger gambling poses to baseball. Scioscia posited that the danger of gambling far outweighed the damage wrought by PEDs in the past:

“We’ve survived PEDs,” Scioscia commented. “This game will never survive gambling. Will never.”

The former Los Angeles Dodgers catcher played against Pete Rose during the latter’s last seven years in the majors.

“If there’s an allusion that anybody in this game is making bets on performance, whether it’s pro or con, baseball will just unravel,” the Angels manager maintained. “That’s why the penalties are very stiff, and if all the allegations are true against Pete, that’s a price he has to pay.”

On Monday, ESPN’s Outside the Lines revealed that documents had shown Rose had indeed bet on baseball while a player, demolishing Rose’s long-time contention that he bet on baseball but never as a player.

Scioscia, the longest-tenured manager in baseball, serving his 16th season as Angels manager, boasts a 1331-1099 (.548) career mark. His 1,331 wins rank 30th all-time. He led the Angels to their only World Series title in 2002.

Scioscia is known for his frankness and tough ethical standards. In 2004 the Angels were battling to win their division when left fielder Jose Guillen, one of the team’s best players, fired his helmet toward the manager after being removed for a pinch-hitter. Scioscia suspended Guillen without pay for the remainder of the season, including the playoffs. He didn’t make an exception because the team needed Guillen’s bat. This spring Scioscia stated that outfielder Josh Hamilton, who was traded back to the Texas Rangers after struggling with sobriety again, should have expressed “remorse” to Angels teammates who stood by him even when the team’s management heavily criticized him.