Pregame interview with Scioscia

Pregame interview with Scioscia

How do you feel about Jim Tracy and his situation with the Dodgers?

MIKE SCIOSCIA: Sometimes situations don't work out and it's time to move on, and obviously I think, you know, it seems like there was a consensus there or mutual agreement that was best for both sides. It's tough to watch. I know how much time Jim put into that job and into that position, and sometimes, you know, sometimes it just doesn't fall in place and it's just the nature of this opportunity. You have to keep achieving, and sometimes there's going to be changes for whatever reason.

Looking from the outside in, what have the last 10 years been like watching the Yankees and their dominance?

SCIOSCIA: Well, you see it from a distance for probably the first part of that, the rebuilding effort that came in when they made the playoffs in the mid 90s. And you saw the great run they got on with winning world championships, and then seeing it firsthand for the past six years.

They do things right. They are talented, they are deep. When you talk about Yankee mystique, the real core of it is because this group of guys, and they are obviously well coached and extremely well managed, does things right. Everything from running the bases to getting ready to play the game to preparing for their roles and to going out and executing on the field. They just play the game the way it's supposed to be and I think it's impressive to see.

A lot of people talk about their power, their talents, just the way they go about their baserunning shows that they are out there competing. The way they prepare themselves on defense, taking pride in the little things, the secondary leads they take. Every part of their game, they apply themselves, and I think they are under a microscope there, and they rise to that occasion.

So they just keep going and they are talented. They are good and they play the game the right way. I think that's what I've seen in the last six years here, and there's certainly challenges they bring.

You mentioned baserunning a little while ago and I wanted to ask you about your club. You were very successful running on Yankee catchers this year, why was that?

SCIOSCIA: It's the combination, not just the catchers. Jorge throws the ball well; Flaherty throws the ball well. You're not just stealing on a catcher; you're stealing on a combination. Sometimes it's a feel of a pitch that might be thrown. There's a lot of things that go into base stealing that doesn't apply to just the catcher.

So, you know, we've had a little bit of success. They have shut us down at times and at times we have not been able to take that base if we wanted it. They are certainly capable of doing the things they need on their end, and we need to keep pushing it because our offense has to keep going.

If we sit back and get into a slugfest with those guys, it's going to be very, very difficult for us. So we need to keep creating offensively, and I'm sure they are going to pay attention to try to stop that.

Can you talk for a moment about the transition from the Disney company to Arte and what kind of impact he's had on this organization, specifically from a financial standpoint, giving you the players you need to get into the playoffs?

SCIOSCIA: When I first came here, obviously Disney was in charge and running the club. I can't say enough about what Paul Pressler did when he came in in 2002 and really helped our decision making process. Bill Stoneman made a lot of decisions that directly influenced us moving in the right direction in 2002 and eventually winning.

I think that when Arte took over in 2003, his commitment was very evident, very real. His passion for the game is real, and he's given us the type of club that has been able to get into the playoffs and hopefully beyond.

I just think when you have one guy that can make decisions as Paul is making in 2002 or Arte is making now, he let's Dennis Kule (ph) make decisions on that end and Bill Stoneman on our end. I just think it's the way it should work because the decision making process is very crisp and clear and clean, and it's helped us to move forward. I think especially evident, some of the free agent signings that Bill was able to finish off, if you look at Bartolo Colón and Vlad and Kelvim Escobar, Orlando Cabrera he was able to get right in, get the price agreed to and get these guys which might not have happened if it was a little bit if the decision process wasn't as clean.

This might be a little off the track, but just this franchise, on its fourth name, some sort of corporate identity crisis, does this in any remote possible way ever trickle down this identity crisis of management to you and the players ever?

SCIOSCIA: I think when you hear fans voice their opinion as they did to the name changes off season, sure, it stings a little bit because we take a lot of pride in playing the game right on the field. I know the fans enjoy the style of play that we bring and the level of play that these guys have been able to play on the field.

But, you know, when it comes down to it, if there's more revenue generated by a name change, it can only affect us in a positive way. That's something that I think fans have come to grips with here in southern California, particularly Orange County. They know what it was like before with some of the teams that have struggled to compete. We're in a position now where we've been contending. I think the fans have realized that and I think the name change and the identity with being called Los Angeles is something that Arte feels will bring resources here in the future that can help us to stay at this level.

So the name change, if everything works out the way I know Arte is confident it will, can only be a positive for us as far as the resources and keeping us playing at this level. So, has it trickled down to us? Not so much in what we need to do on the field, but certainly can in the future, and as I said, it will be a positive.

What are we called now, anyway? (Laughter.) How about the Angels? We're okay with that.

Bartolo has had a great season for the Angels, but he has struggled a bit against the Yankees what. Does he have to do tonight to be effective against New York?

SCIOSCIA: Bartolo had a tough start in Yankee Stadium early year this year. Alex Rodriguez was a one man wrecking crew it seemed like that night and he obviously continued the whole season. Bartolo did not hit his spots in that game. He was erratic, he was behind in a lot of counts and forced some balls in a lot of areas on counts that maybe he might have been a little ill advised at that time but he was trying to compete out there. SCIOSCIA: He needs to get in the zone early with good pitches. You can't just say let's get in the zone with the Yankees because those guys are very, very talented. You have to get in the zone with good pitches, and when you in the counts and put them away, you have to make even better pitches and put them away. You don't want to run deep counts and long counts to let guys get back into counts. That's easier said than done at times, but Bart has the command and capabilities to do that. That's what he needs to bring into the game. Obviously he turns that fastball into three different looks. He can change speeds and changes his breaking ball to a couple different he has the stuff, and if he can get into good zones early in the count, we can expect a good ballgame from him. SCIOSCIA:

Today in the Cardinals/Padres game, early in the game there was a play at first base, replays showed Pujols got there before Loretta, what implications do you think would take place if baseball were to go to instant replay?

SCIOSCIA: Well, I think there may be some things that instant replay can help with. I don't know about plays on the bases, but I think with home runs, fair or foul or balls that maybe go over, if there's a fan interference call or something like that, that it might be something that can help out.

Umpiring and baseball has been around since day one. There's always been a call that people could look at here or there. These guys do a great job, and the bottom line, I feel, is that if you're a good team and you're playing at a high level, you should be able to absorb whether it's a bloop hit from the other team, whether it's an umpire's call that you might not have gotten your way. You have to be able to absorb that and keep going if you're good enough.

Our goal is to play a high enough level, whether it's an umpire's call or a hit that flares in there that you make a good pitch. You have to absorb that and still win and play at that level.

So instant replay and baseball, I don't know if it's ever going to be anything that is going to be such a plus that it has to be put into our ballgame. I don't know if there's umpires decisions that have affected anything that's happened this year as far as our season. I know that things are magnified in the playoffs where a given play can be very, very important. But I don't see it. Those guys, you know, those guys have the view and there's going to be calls that are bang, bang, that might go one way or the other. You have to absorb that and play baseball and be good enough to overcome it.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.