Mike Scioscia to manage the US National Team in WBSC Baseball Americas Olympic Qualifier
Scioscia and the US Men's National Team will be looking to earn a ticket to the Tokyo Olympics at the upcoming WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier in Florida this June.
USA Baseball has named Mike Scioscia as the manager for the 2021 US Professional National Team, ahead of the Olympic qualifier(s). Scioscia will lead the US National Team in the WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier on home soil in Florida in early June. The exact dates and locations will be announced soon.
Born in 1958, Scioscia has represented only two organizations during a professional career as a player and a manager that began in 1976.
"I'm extremely honoured and excited to lead the US National Team this year," commented Scioscia. "I'm looking forward to the privilege of wearing the USA jersey, and I know every member of our team will feel the same way. It is a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience that will hopefully end with the USA winning an Olympic gold medal."
“We are honoured to welcome Mike Scioscia,” said USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler. “Mike’s tenure with the Angels’ franchise was nothing short of spectacular, creating and celebrating a culture of success with six division titles, an American League pennant, and its first-ever World Series title. More impactfully, his leadership, integrity, and character are unparalleled in our game, making him the perfect fit for the USA Baseball family. We are thrilled to have him lead our Professional National Team in 2021 as we look to earn a spot in the Tokyo Olympic Games." Scioscia will be looking to guide the US National Team to an Olympic berth at the WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier, an eight-team tournament, with teams split into two groups to start:
Group A: No. 2 USA, No. 10 Dominican Republic, No. 11 Puerto Rico and No. 15 Nicaragua.
Group B: No. 8 Cuba, No. 9 Venezuela, No. 13 Canada and No. 14 Colombia.
After round-robin play, the best two finishers will advance to the super round. The first-place team after the super round will be the fifth National Team qualified to the Tokyo Olympics, joining world No. 1 Japan, No. 3 Korea, No. 5 Mexico and No. 18 Israel. The second and third finishers will fight for the final spot in the Olympics during the WBSC WBSC Final Qualifier, played in Taichung and Douliu, Taiwan, from 16 to 20 June.
They will join world No. 4 Chinese Taipei, No. 6 Australia, No. 9 Netherlands, No. 22 China. The US finished in fourth-place at the 2019 WBSC Premier12, where bronze medallists Mexico claimed the Olympic berth as the top finisher from the Americas.
Scioscia's Bio Scioscia was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers and made his MLB debut in 1980. He played 1,441 games for the Dodgers, all under manager Tom Lasorda, the skipper who led the US to an Olympic gold medal in 2000. Scioscia retired after the 1992 season and two World Series titles (1981, 1988) and two All-Star Games (1989, 1990).
He began his coaching career with the Dodgers. The Los Angeles Angels hired him as their manager in 2000. Scioscia led them to a World Series championship in 2002 and was voted the American League Manager of the Year in 2002 and 2009. He stepped down as a manager after the 2018 season and 1,650 wins.
(Top Photo: Getty Images)