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Report: Eric Chavez favored to replace Mike Scioscia as Angels manager

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USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that former big league third baseman Eric Chavez is favored to be the next Angels manager. That is, if Mike Scioscia does not stay in the job. Whether he does or not is currently unclear.

A month ago Ken Rosenthal reported that Scioscia would not return for his 20th season at the helm. Scioscia denied that report, but it’s unclear if the matter is in his hands. Given that last week he told Terry Smith of KLAA that that he’d like to continue managing beyond 2018, I’d guess that it’s not in his control. There has been no definitive word from Angels’ brass either way.

Chavez, who retired after the 2014 season, is a special assistant with the Angels. Before that he was a special assistant with the New York Yankees, both under current Angels GM Billy Eppler who used to work for the Yankees. Chavez managed the Angels’ Triple-A team in Salt Lake City for the final month of this season after their manager was promoted to the big league coaching staff. An audition? A coincidence? I guess we’ll find out soon.

Scioscia, who turns 60 in November, took over the Angels before the 2000 season. In his third year the Angels won the World Series and his clubs have made the postseason seven times in his 19 seasons. He was named the AL Manager of the Year in 2002 and 2009. The Angels have not finished over .500 since 2015, however, despite employing the best player in baseball.

Some think it’s time to move on from Scioscia. Whether the Angels think so will likely not be clear until the season is over next week.

Anthems, first pitches and other ceremonial stuff

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The World Series is not just about the baseball. It’s about the bigger-than-usual stars singing the National Anthem, the more-famous-than-usual people throwing out the first pitch and all of the assorted to-do which surrounds the ballgames. Here is that sort of stuff for Game 1 and Game 2 in Boston.

First pitches:

  • Carl Yastrzemski will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for Game 1. Yastrzemski also threw out the first pitch of Game 1 in 2004, 2007 and 2013. The Red Sox won each of those games and each of those World Series so, yeah, go with what works, right?
  • Members of the 2004 World Series Champions will throw the ceremonial first pitch of Game 2. It doesn’t say which members, so maybe my dream of Manny Ramirez doing it will work out after all. Hey, he played for the Dodgers too, so let’s make this happen, OK?

National Anthems:

  • Singer-songwriter James Taylor will perform the National Anthem prior to the start of Game 1. This morning Peter Gammons tweeted that Taylor’s family helped build Fenway Park. Let’s file that under “interesting, but not so interesting that it’s really worth tracking down to confirm, so why not believe it?” Sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground.
  • For Game 2 the National Anthem will be performed by the Boston Pops, with the Tanglewood Chorus and the Boston Symphony Children’s Chorus doing the singing. The Boston Pops are conducted by Keith Lockhart, who was a career .287/.354/.425 hitter in 37 postseason games with the Atlanta Braves. I mean, at least I’m pretty sure it’s the same Keith Lockhart. Again: not interesting enough to check so, like Gammons’ thing about James Taylor, let’s assume I’m right about this.

Play ball.