Report: Tension behind scenes
Emotions are said to have simmered in meetings involving GM, who in past has differed with Scioscia.
All seemed well with the Angels on Monday night. Mike Trout did his usual Mike Trout things, smacking a solo home run in the third inning and making three superb catches in center field to highlight a 4- 1 victory over the New York Yankees in Angel Stadium.
C. J. Wilson rebounded from a shoddy start last week to throw six innings of one- run, five- hit ball, escaping a bases- loaded, two- out jam by striking out Carlos Beltran to end the third.
Trevor Gott, Joe Smith and Huston Street combined for three scoreless innings of relief, right fielder Kole Calhoun made a diving catch of John Ryan Murphy’s liner in the sixth, and the infield turned two double plays to help the Angels, who have hovered around .500 all season, improve to 40- 37.
There was even some history. Trout’s homer was his 20th of the season, making him only the sixth player in American League history to have four 20- homer seasons before their age- 24 season. The others: Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr., Tony Conigliaro, Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams.
And Albert Pujols’ double in the first gave him 1,131 extra- base hits, tying him with Tris Speaker for 13th on baseball’s all- time list. But all was not well. According to an Internet report posted during the game, tensions between Manager Mike Scioscia and General Manager Jerry Dipoto, which f lared toward the end of the 2012 and 2013 seasons but eased in 2014, returned over the weekend.
Foxsports. com, citing unidentif ied major league sources, said emotions simmered in a series of meetings Friday and Sunday in which Dipoto expressed frustration with the coaches’ failure to convey scouting and statistical information to the players.
The data, provided by the front office, is most often used to position defenders in shifts and guide pitchers on how to pitch to hitters in certain counts and locations.
According to the report, Dipoto met with players, coaches and Scioscia before Sunday’s game and told players they would now be given the information directly by the front office and that they could decide whether to use it.
The report went on to say that “at least one coach responded heatedly to Dipoto” and that Pu- jols “challenged Dipoto in the meeting, saying that the coaches are working as hard to prepare the players as they did last season, but that the roster is not nearly as strong as it was a year ago,” when the Angels went 98- 64.
Dipoto, through a team spokesman, declined to comment on the report, but a person familiar with the meetings but not authorized to speak publicly about them confirmed the report’s gist is accurate.
Scioscia said Sunday’s pregame team meeting “was just scouting information, scouting reports … we’re just getting reports to guys a little bit differently than we had before.”
He declined to address specifics of the report after Monday’s game.
“There’s really nothing to say about anything that might or might not have happened,” Scioscia said. “Jerry and I work together the same way we’ve worked the last couple of years, and that’s where we are.”
There was heavy speculation late in 2012 that Dipoto, Scioscia or both could be f ired. Angels owner Arte Moreno retained both, essentially forcing them to resolve their differences and work together.
Scioscia, 56, is in the seventh year of a 10- year, $ 50- million contract, but he has the right to opt out of the deal after this season.
And with managerial openings in Philadelphia — Scioscia grew up in a suburb of that city — San Diego, Milwaukee and Miami, there is already speculation that, if his situation in Anaheim sours, the longest- tenured manager in baseball could leave after this season. mike. digiovanna@ latimes. com Twitter: @ MikeDiGiovanna
MIKE TROUT makes a leaping catch of a drive by the Yankees’ Chris Young — just one of the outfielder’s defensive gems.