ANAHEIM -- Angels owner Arte Moreno and general manager Jerry Dipoto have publicly backed manager Mike Scioscia. But with the Angels three games back of the second American League Wild Card spot with 15 games left, putting them in serious danger of missing the playoffs for a third straight season despite sporting a club-record $154 million payroll in 2012, questions continue to surface about Scioscia's job status, even though he's under contract through 2018. Prior to Tuesday's series opener against the Rangers at Angel Stadium, Scioscia was asked if he's "feeling any extra heat" with the season winding down. "It's cooled off, compared to what was it, 102 the other day?" Scioscia quipped. "This is nice, and especially for fat guys, we don't do well in that 102-degree weather. So, I'm good."
Was it simply a joke, or an attempt to deflect what's becoming a touchy subject, or both? Hard to tell. But there's little doubt that this year, Scioscia's job status has been questioned by fans and media far more than at any point during his 13-year tenure in Anaheim. If the Angels indeed fall short of the playoffs, will the Angels' long-time skipper be bought out? There's no telling. "That's not a question for me," Scioscia, who signed a 10-year extension before the '09 season, said when asked once more. "I go about my business, and our staff goes about our business, the same way every day. The passion's there. At times, the results haven't been what we had hoped for this season, but that doesn't change anything I'm doing on a daily basis, I can tell you that."