It wasn’t long ago the Los Angeles Angels were leading the AL West and primed to make a postseason appearance for the first time since 2014.
Oh how quickly things can change.
After losing 12 consecutive games, Joe Maddon has been fired as LA’s manager and third base coach Phil Nevin will serve as interim manager.
Nevin lost to the Red Sox Wednesday night in his MLB managerial debut, pushing the losing streak to 13. This ties the franchise record for consecutive losses.
The season is at a low point for the 27-30 Angels. LA is tied with the Texas Rangers for second in the AL West, trailing the Houston Astros by 9.5 games.
Maddon has been a staple with the Angels organization. This was his 34th season with the team, serving time as manager, interim manager and bench coach. He worked under Mike Scioscia in 2002 when the Angels claimed its only World Series victory.
Maddon was hired for his second stint as LA’s manager in 2020 and has posted a 130-148 record since the 2020 season. His best year came in 2021 when the Angels finished with a record of 77-85.
In an article on The Athletic, Maddon had this to say when asked if the firing shocked him:
“A little bit. Actually, a lot. You always rely on people in charge to read the tea leaves properly. This time, they did not. You didn’t even have to ask me. You can ask any of the players or coaches. They’re the ones who really know. Perry (Minasian) was in a tough spot. I understand that. Let me just put it that way. I would really rely on the sentiments of the coaches and the players.”
Why the Angels fired Maddon
Maddon’s record as LA’s manager since 2020 speaks for itself.
The Angels have generational talent in Mike Trout and reigning MVP Shohei Ohtani and haven’t broken .500 under Maddon’s time as the skipper. At 30 and 27 years old respectively, those franchise cornerstone players aren’t getting younger.
But you can’t fault the Angels for believing Maddon was the right man for the job considering he snapped the Chicago Cubs 108-year World Series curse back in 2016.
About interim manager Phil Nevin
After being selected first overall in the 1992 draft by the Houston Astros, Nevin made the rounds during his 12 years as a big leaguer. The Fullerton, California native played third base, first base and outfield for the Astros, Tigers, Angels, Padres, Rangers, Cubs and Twins.
Nevin will become the first manager in MLB history to manage a team after being with the first overall pick.
Right after Nevin retired as a player, he managed three different minor league teams and had a brief stint as a bench coach for the Detroit Tigers.
Before this season with the Angels, his first in LA, Nevin has more recently held the following coaching positions: manager of the Reno Aces, a triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, third base coach for the San Francisco Giants in 2017, then he held the same title with the New York Yankees from 2018-2021.