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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.

Bryce Harper is pandering hard to Philly fans

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Bryce Harper hadn’t even addressed his new hometown fans before his Phillies jersey started selling like hotcakes. Since then, he’s said all the expected things. Talking about joining the Phillies, he said, “From day one, it felt right … I always talk about family and being a family, being one unit, and I get that from this team. Every guy has your back and vice versa. I’m very excited to go into battle with these guys.”

Harper is continuing to pander hard to Phillies fans. Behold his latest Instagram post:

Has anyone ever really longed to see the Liberty Bell?

Harper also famously recreated that Chase Utley scene from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia with actor Rob McElhenney on Twitter:

In Harper’s next post, he will talk about alternating bottles of You-eng-ling beers with glasses of “wooder.” He’ll add that every so often he will treat himself to a steak sandwich with cheese on it, then go home to watch all of the movies in the Rocky series.