I think that Mike Scioscia is a pretty good manager, and that he’s done about as well as he could with the team that he has in LA. However, it bears notice that Mike Napoli is about five games better than Jeff Mathis this year, and that Napoli is playing for the Rangers instead of the Angels in large part because of how Scioscia evaluates catcher defense. It isn’t all Scioscia’s fault; somebody in the front office might have made a mental note that having a player who can play catcher, first base, DH, and can rake is worth more than the difference between Juan Rivera and Vernon Wells (!). Also due credit to Ron Washington for appreciating what he had and steadily increasing Napoli’s playing time over the course of the season.
[SL] What bears emphasis here is that the Angels lost the trade horribly even leaving aside the fact that they took on one of the worst contracts in baseball. Wells, who has a handsome .252 OBA (albeit with very good defense in left), would be killing the team even if he had been signed to a cheap one-year flier. It’s a staggeringly bad trade. About the only thing you can say in their defense is that “winning” the Carl Crawford auction might have been even worse.