Angels' Torii Hunter reflects on Mike Scioscia's 1,000th career victory
Mike Scioscia has been reluctant to talk too much about his 1,000th career victory, a milestone he reached with the Angels' 6-5 win over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday, because he hates when too much attention is placed on himself.
But that didn't stop his players from heaping praise on the Angels' manager, who became the 56th manager in major league history to win 1,000 games and the 23rd to do so with one team.
“It’s an individual thing, so he’s not going to talk too much about it, but I’m pretty sure he’s excited,” Angels right fielder Torii Hunter said. “It’s a great feat, a special accomplishment. Not too many managers can say they’ve won 1,000 games in the big leagues.”
Pitching and defense have been the foundation of the team’s success over the past 10 years, but Scioscia has also gained a reputation for getting the most of his offenses, making up for a lack of power with aggressive baserunning.
“That’s one of the reasons I came here,” said Hunter, the former Minnesota Twins star who signed with the Angels before 2008. “I saw how smart he is, how he strategizes, the way he plays the game, going first to third, being aggressive. Watching him from the other side, I always thought he was a good manager.”
Hunter and fellow outfielder Vernon Wells -- the pair has a combined 23 years of big league experience and a combined $41 million in 2011 salary -- dumped a huge cooler of ice water over Scioscia's head as the manager was being interviewed by a television reporter on the field after the game.
"I don't know if anyone else in the clubhouse besides Torii could have thrown water on him," veteran pitcher Dan Haren said. "I would be scared to do that. I wouldn't mess with Scioscia."
Hunter had been planning the ice-water bath for several days.
"You see that in college football all the time when guys get a certain amount of wins -- we wanted to make it special," Hunter said. "This is great. I've seen him from both sides. I've played against him for a lot of those wins and for him for a couple hundred of those wins. I'm just proud to be a part of it."
Photo: Angels Manager Mike Scioscia is drenched in water after center fielder Torii Hunter (48) gave him an ice-water bath after his 1,000th career win on Sunday at Angel Stadium. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times