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Mike Scioscia denies report that he’ll step down as Angels manager at the end of 2018

Scioscia has managed in Anaheim since 2000, the longest tenure in MLB.

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MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Angels manager Mike Scioscia is the longest tenured skipper in Major League Baseball, but his 19-year reign in Anaheim is expected to end at the conclusion of the 2018 season, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Scioscia on Sunday morning before the Angels’ series finale in Cleveland dismissed the report.

Scioscia has managed the Angels since 2000, leading them to the playoffs seven times including the franchise’s lone World Series championship in 2002. After consecutive losing seasons the Angels are again under .500 this season at 55-57, a campaign plagued by injuries.

This is the final season of a 10-year contract Scioscia signed in 2009, which was the last year the Angels won a playoff series.

Rosenthal reported that Scioscia has not received pressure from the club to leave, and that it was unclear whether Scioscia would want to manage another team immediately.

Scoscia on Sunday said the report was “poppycock.”

Scioscia has downplayed his contract status since the end of 2017, and both he and Angels general manager Billy Eppler declined comment to Rosenthal regarding this report. Back in October, both Scioscia and Eppler said there were no issues with Scioscia heading into the final season of his contract with no extension, effectively making him a lame duck manager.

“The focus is on 2018,” Eppler told the Orange County Register last October. “We’ll discuss business beyond that at an appropriate time. We’re not focused on ’19. We’re focused on ’18. He’s comfortable with that. I’m comfortable with that. Arte is comfortable with that.”

After the Angels final game before the All-Star break in July, Scioscia’s sentiments were similar regarding his managerial future.

“I love managing,” Scioscia said, per the Los Angeles Times. “All I’m thinking about right now is our game today and then it will be the game after that. That’s it.”

Scioscia has by many accounts had a fine relationship with Eppler, who was hired as Angels GM in October 2015. This is in contrast with previous GM Jerry Dipoto, whose various conflicts in 3½ years with Scioscia culminated in Dipoto resigning midway through the 2015 season.

Dipoto, now the general manager in Seattle, said in an MLB Network Radio interview in 2016 of his time with the Angels, “Healthy disagreement is a good thing and sometimes in Anaheim, as you saw played out nationally multiple times over the four years, it wasn’t quite as healthy.”

Scioscia in his 19 years as manager is 1,625-1,403 (.537), ranking 18th on the all-time list for wins. He is one of six managers in MLB history to lead one team for 19 or more consecutive seasons, along with Connie Mack, Walt Alston, Tommy Lasorda, Sparky Anderson and Bobby Cox.