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The resounding success of Mike Napoli after years of Mike Scioscia trying his best not to use him and them dumping him for nothing has finally put a dent into the idea that Scioscia is a brilliant manager. Scioscia finally spoke about it today and used a classic line:

“Mike had to work on stuff that didn’t come naturally to him, more so than other catchers who maybe do it more naturally.”

This is as opposed to Scioscia’s crush on Jeff Mathis, who of course has nothing to work on. Certainly not hitting, not with his career 50 OPS+. And while I don’t doubt Mathis is better on defense and probably handles a pitching staff better, his career success throwing out basestealers is 24%, while Napoli’s is 25%.

The real issue here of course is that Scioscia believes a catcher should be just like he was. Scrappy, all about handling a staff, etc. And when confronted with the best hitting catcher since Mike Piazza, well, Scioscia couldn’t see the value.

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