ANAHEIM -- For a couple different reasons, Angels manager Mike Scioscia has kept a close eye on his former coaches during the past week.
One, Tampa Bay's Joe Maddon, is fighting with Scioscia's Halos for the Wild Card, which is the last remaining spot into the American League playoffs.
Another, Milwaukee's Ron Roenicke, has less of a direct impact on Scioscia. But in his first year removed from being the Angels' bench coach, Roenicke guided the Brewers to a National League Central title. Scioscia made sure to congratulate him after Friday's game and before Saturday's action.
He praised Roenicke's calm demeanor and his ability to adapt to any type of player, noting his style is perfect for managing a big league club.
"He was ready for the opportunity," Scioscia said. "He's got a great baseball mind, he's great with people, and I think his ability to infuse aggressiveness in a lot of different areas into a team is very evident."
As for Maddon, Scioscia said it felt "strange" to be going head-to-head with him for a playoff spot, though he always knew it might be a possibility.
"There's a whole new division that forms at the end of every season," Scioscia said. "It's the Wild Card division, and it's Tampa, it's us and it's Boston."
Before Saturday's game against the A's, Scioscia shooed away the notion that he had anything to do with the successes of Maddon, Roenicke and San Diego skipper Bud Black.
"As far as a breeding ground, those guys -- Joe and Buddy and Ron -- those guys are just incredible baseball minds," Scioscia said. "They would have had an opportunity wherever they went. We had a great time with them and we're still very close and talk a lot of baseball."