Commentary

After almost 6,000 games, first firing in Mike Scioscia managerial tree

Ron Roenicke becomes the first of Angels Manager Mike Scioscia's former staff to get fired

One of baseball's most impressive streaks came to an end Sunday night. Mike Scioscia and his disciples had managed almost 6,000 games in the major leagues before any of them got fired.

Scioscia never had managed in the major leagues when the Angels hired him before the 2000 season. The Angels had not appeared in the playoffs since 1986, and no manager had lasted more than three consecutive seasons since Bill Rigney, the expansion manager.

So when Scioscia assembled his coaching staff, history suggested that it would be far more likely that he would be fired without winning anything than that he would plant a managerial tree.

In his third season, in 2002, the upstart Angels won the World Series, and the baseball world took notice of his coaching staff. Bud Black, then the Angels' pitching coach, turned down a chance to manage the Cleveland Indians that year and might well have been hired as Boston Red Sox manager the next year had he not removed his name from consideration.

Joe Maddon, the Angels' bench coach, was hired by the then-Tampa Bay Devil Rays as manager for the 2006 season. The Rays never had lost fewer than 91 games, and Maddon was warned by some of his friends that the job would be a graveyard.

Black was hired by his hometown San Diego Padres the following year. Ron Roenicke, who moved from third-base coach to bench coach in Anaheim when Maddon left, was hired to manage the Milwaukee Brewers for the 2011 season.

The pinnacle of the group's success -- beyond the Angels' 2002 championship -- came last winter. Maddon, who won beyond anyone's imagination except his own in Tampa Bay, parlayed his triumphs into a five-year, $25-million contract to manage the Chicago Cubs.

The Brewers fired Roenicke on Sunday night, and they are expected to announce Craig Counsell as his successor Monday morning. Scioscia, Maddon and Black remain on the job.

The totals for Scioscia and his three disciples: 5,933 games -- and 36 full seasons -- managed in the majors before Roenicke was dismissed. Scioscia and the man who hired him -- Bill Stoneman, then the Angels' general manager -- should be extraordinarily proud.

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