Mike Scioscia is stepping down as Angels manager, it was officially announced Sunday. He’s been commandeering the Anaheim dugout since the turn of the century, but his time with the Halos is finally coming to an end. He at least got one season of overseeing a team with both Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani on it, despite Ohtani’s setbacks and yet another year where Trout didn’t make the playoffs.
Scioscia will be 60 in November, and while this may very well be a retirement as well as a stepping down, Scioscia says he is open to managing with another club should the opportunity present itself. Or maybe we’ll see him land in a front office somewhere.
Either way, Scioscia is leaving the Angels with a World Series win, two Manager of the Year awards, and a near-two decade history of making the best freakin’ faces both on the field and in the dugout.
This is your official Scioscia Face™ Goodbye Post.
Scioscia Face is more than just simple facial expressions during a game situation. It’s a life choice, it’s a commitment, it’s a mood. It can’t be duplicated, only imitated.
It’s the feeling of making a perfect over-easy egg and then breaking the yolk when you transfer it to the plate. When you find the perfect parking space at 6:30 p.m. on a weekend and miss the sign that says “Tow Zone Sundays 8 a.m.-8 p.m”. When an umpire dares to question your sense of style. That thing where you won a World Series once but could’t do it again with Mike Trout. The Scioscia Face lifestyle is not taken lightly.
In motion, it’s even more beautiful.
No more Scioscia Face? Not allowed. pic.twitter.com/l1L8Qecos6— Whitney McIntosh (@WhitneyM02) August 5, 2018
For this post we’ll be sticking with photos only though. A distillation of Scioscia Face down to one perfect moment captured by a photographer who knows what his job is at Angels games.
Here we see a prototype of the Scioscia Face, from early in his stint with the Angels. This is of the “ayyy I’m walkin’ here!” variety, and it’s only a hint of what’s to come.
Here, we see Scioscia Face deployed in a manner which makes him look like a little kid who was just told there would be no dessert until they ate the rest of their lima beans. Which I mean in the best possible way.
This is Resting Scioscia Face. The most common, and most comforting, of the forms it has been known to take. That’s different than just Scioscia’s face resting, but a specific subset of the larger Scioscia Face universe.
“What’s that you say? It’s 2002 and Chicago will win a Best Picture Oscar?! No way.”
He’s a little sad here. Sad Scioscia Face has the immediate ability to provoke empathy for Scioscia no matter what he’s doing in that moment. He could be doing something monstrous like putting ranch on his buffalo wings and I’d still feel bad for him. This is just the tip of Sad Scioscia Face though.
When another boy is making a weird face and you want the umpire to tell him that’s your thing and your thing only.
This is a little unfair to include, as pretty much anyone photographed in the middle of hitting a baseball from this angle would look at least a little bit goofy. But it’s important context since this is just Scioscia’s face looking weird, and not any actual permutation of Scioscia Face. Again, there is a difference.
A minor form of Scioscia Face. It’s not full-fledged here. But this definitive goodbye post requires us to appreciates all gradations of his facial expressions.
When you realized your forgot to take the hamburger meat out to thaw.
The next three photos of Scioscia Face serve as an incredible triptych of the “aw shucks” version of Scioscia Face. This is probably my personal favorite, as it’s so innocent and so bummed. But still a great face.
One more aw shucks face for good measure.
Wait, no — one more. With the added bonus of it being a postseason face. A lower degree of difficulty to witness, but a higher level of satisfaction.
I WAS TOLD BY APPLE CARE.
Ah, the rare Showscia Face. Almost never glimpsed in the wild together, it’s magnificent to see if you ever get the chance. Like a total lunar eclipse in the middle of summer. Or dipping your french fries in a chocolate milkshake.
PEAK Scioscia Face. Peaaaaaaaaak.
You can tell here that Mike Scioscia is trying to be very serious. This situation is making him unhappy, he wants his face to make that clear. He wants to change the ump’s mind.
Instead, we get this face. He aimed for “authority” and drove right off the road into a Scioscia Face ditch.
“They saw my face in that last photo, didn’t they?”
Find someone who looks at you with Scioscia Face the way Mike Scioscia looks at Torii Hunter with Scioscia Face.
“Hold on, hold on? Are you sure this isn’t too much Scioscia Face in one place?...”
There can never be too much Scioscia Face in one place. Not possible. Soak it all in.
Boop. Scioscia Face.
When You Have Mike Trout And Other Teams Don’t Scioscia Face
There’s so much going on here. The dopey Scioscia Face. The belt pull. The umpire standing there like “alright here we go.”
“I should have bought those two for one Klondike Bars when I had the chance. Now my coupon is expired and I’m craving a Klondike Bar.”
Closeup Scioscia Face.
“I need to remember to talk to the front office about how much photographers are allowed to zoom in on the faces I make.”
“Were you talking about my face? What about my face? Everybody makes these faces!”
No, Mike. Only you. No one can achieve the level of Scioscia Face you can. Seen here with Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes-winning jockey Victor Espinosa, you’d think you would focus on the baseball in midair or the famous jockey. But no. Scioscia Face draws you right in.
The lighting here makes this art. Norman Rockwell Scioscia Face. A portrait of America’s pastime.
Scioscia Face sans hat is a rare one too. Keep this in your trading card stack, because the head scratching really adds to the whole aura here and it’s not every day he just takes off his hat willy nilly like this.
We’re into the home stretch of Scioscia Face now. This is from last September, when the Angels were all but out of the division race and would once again not make the playoffs. Pensive Scioscia Face. Staring into the middle distance, remember his more entertaining dugout faces of the past.
“You taking a picture of me? Again? You guys still aren’t over the faces I make?”
Age made have changed Scioscia’s face slightly, but it can never stop the beauty of Scioscia Face. In fact, the increased malleability of his features (as we will all experience someday) made his expressions even more satisfying and endearing.
This is one of the purest from his final years manning the ship. We’ll never truly know what he was thinking here, but we know whatever it was it made him make an amazing face.
One more, one of the only ones that shares space with Shohei Ohtani. The two faces here, sandwiching Ohtani on either side beautifully, really are something to treasure. Scioscia’s face can’t be replicated but he’s certainly rubbed off on others in his orbit over the years.
Goodbye, Scioscia Face. We’ll miss you. Until the day you join an MLB on Fox broadcast for a segment or two and somebody asks a tricky question about the postseason. And you stop for a moment, and contemplate an answer, and there it is.
The camera catches it for just a moment before you smile and respond to the host.
But we see it.
Because we’ll never forget it.
The one. The only.