Tony La Russa says he’s not going to manage the Angels

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Guess that’s a relief to Mike Scioscia, who currently has the job and is under contract to manage the Angels through 2018. But Ken Rosenthal and La Russa have heard the rumors, and those rumors had to be addressed:

“I’m not going to manage again,” La Russa told FOXSports.com on Wednesday night. “I’m going to work for a team someday. But it won’t be managing.”

La Russa had planned to be at the Tigers-Angels series this weekend because he is close with Jim Leyland, Dave Dombrowski and Albert Pujols, but now he says he’s not going so as not to make it appear as though he’s looming over Mike Scioscia’s shoulder. Which is pretty classy of him.

Still, even if La Russa isn’t interested, I stand by my preseason prediction that Mike Scioscia will be the first manager fired this year, five years left on his contract or not.  You rarely get more than one chance to manage a team that has made giant splashes on the free agent market. Unless the Angels turn things around quickly, they will be facing the second straight year of falling flat after spending a gabillion bucks.  Someone’s gotta pay for that.

Ken Giles: ‘I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston’

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Blue Jays closer Ken Giles hasn’t exactly turned things around since joining the Blue Jays on July 31, when the club sent embattled closer Roberto Osuna to the Astros. Giles posted a 4.99 ERA in 30 2/3 innings with the Astros, then put up a slightly less miserable 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Jays. Still, he’s much happier with the Jays than he was with the Astros, even after winning the World Series with them last year. He said to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston. It’s kind of weird to say that because I won a World Series with that team. But it’s like, I just felt trapped there. I didn’t feel like myself there. Overall, I felt out of place.”

Giles also said “the communication was lost” with the Astros and it was something that came easy with the Jays. He said, “When I came here, they stayed patient with me. I said hey, I want to work on this thing till I’m comfortable. All right. OK, I’m comfortable, let’s move on to this next thing. Pitching, you can’t just try to fix everything at once. For me, I had to take baby steps to get my groove back. The Jays allowed me to do that. Yeah, the team was out of contention, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still my career. I still have to prove myself. Them being so patient with me, understanding what I want to do, was very, very big.”

Giles, 28, has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining. He has shown promise despite his overall mediocre numbers. In non-save situations this season (with both the Astros and Jays), he has a 9.12 ERA. But in save situations, his ERA is a pristine 0.38. Giles could be a closer the Jays find themselves leaning on as they attempt to get back into competitive shape. Since it sounds like Giles is quite enamored with Toronto and with the Blue Jays, a discussion about a contract extension certainly could be had.