Over the weekend, Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia used the word " ." Though Scioscia's employment of the word was newsworthy in its own right, as it came in response to a report stating he intended to step down at season's end.
Whether or not Scioscia returns as Angels manager, we figured this would be a good time to survey the league and judge whether each manager was safe, gone, or on the hot seat. These aren't scientific, but we've listed the managers in order of safeness descending.
30. Alex Cora, Red Sox: Cora is in the first season of a three-year deal and has the Red Sox on pace to win 113 games. Shy of a criminal act, he's not going anywhere anytime soon.
29. A.J. Hinch, Astros: Hinch led the Astros to a World Series victory last fall. He could do it again this October. He's not going anywhere, even if everyone is still waiting for him to receive a long-term extension.
28. Dave Roberts, Dodgers: As with Hinch, Roberts would appear safe. His contract includes a club option for next season, but it seems likely that he'll receive an extension between now and next spring.
27. Terry Francona, Indians: Cleveland has already exercised its club options on Francona's contract for the 2019-20 seasons. He's as safe as any long-time veteran manager out there.
26. Gabe Kapler, Phillies: Kapler found himself questioned early and often to begin his rookie year as skipper. But to his credit he's learned from his mistakes and has the Phillies in serious contention for the playoffs.
25. Aaron Boone, Yankees: Yes, the Yankees have encountered some recent turbulence. No, Boone isn't going anywhere. The Yankees didn't fire Joe Girardi for Boone to dismiss him after a potential 100-win year.
24. Bruce Bochy, Giants: Bochy has just one year left on his contract and the Giants have made numerous tweaks to his coaching staff in recent falls. Still, he's a future Hall of Famer and if he's going to go out he's earned the right to go out on his own terms -- not on those imposed upon him.
23. Joe Maddon, Cubs: As with some other managers ahead of Maddon, he has one year remaining on his deal. Unlike them, he's already long in the tooth and thick in the wallet. His contract situation will be a minor storyline worth watching this winter -- if only to see how many years the Cubs tack on.
22. Torey Lovullo, Diamondbacks: Yet another manager likely to get a contract extension this winter. Remember that when Lovullo got the gig, there was talk the Diamondbacks might be in for a rebuild. Instead, they're nearing a second consecutive postseason appearance.
21. Craig Counsell, Brewers: Counsell has done a good job since taking over the Brewers back in May 2015. He's under contract through the 2020 season and with a postseason appearance he could move up the list.
20. Kevin Cash, Rays: Cash is sort of like the American League version of Counsell, in that his good work hasn't yet elevated him to a household name. Still, the only way he doesn't get an extension this winter is if he decides he'd rather take his iconoclastic ways elsewhere.
19. Scott Servais, Mariners: Unlike many of the names above, Servais already signed an extension -- a multi-year one just a few weeks ago. It's highly unlikely that the M's recent skid would cost him his job, but we're putting him here just in case things continue to go south in Seattle.
18. Bob Melvin, Athletics: Melvin's contract runs through next season, and there had been murmurs earlier in the season about Oakland considering wholesale changes heading into 2020. Should the A's hold onto their lead for the second wild card, that would seem to ensure those changes will not be made.
17. Bud Black, Rockies: The Rockies may not find themselves in the playoffs this year due to a leaky bullpen, but Black ought to return without question. It helps that he's under contract for up to two more seasons.
16. Davey Martinez, Nationals: Martinez has taken his bumps so far, but the Nationals seem to be turning things around. Besides, he has two more years on his contract and it wouldn't make sense to turn to yet another manager within a year of letting Dusty Baker walk.
15. Andy Green, Padres: The only thing separating Green from being recognized as a quality skipper is a playoff appearance. He's under contract through 2021 and should be safe regardless of record.
14. Clint Hurdle, Pirates: Hurdle signed an extension last year that runs through the 2021 season. The Pirates are coming off a splashy deadline with some playoff aspirations. Even if they don't make the playoffs there's no reason to think they'll make a change.
13. Brian Snitker, Braves: On results alone, Snitker deserves to remain Atlanta's manager. It's possible that Alex Anthopoulos decides he wants his own skipper, however. Based on how the clubhouse and the old guard in the organization view Snitker, it seems more likely that he'll be back.
12. Rick Renteria, White Sox: Ricky's boys are said to not quit. Renteria has a year left on his deal and deserves to stay at least one more year to help see Chicago's rebuild through.
11. Ron Gardenhire, Tigers: If the Tigers wanted a splashy or younger manager they would've went with one last fall. Gardenhire is all but certain to get another season.
10. Mickey Callaway, Mets: Reports have Callaway returning next season. He's this low because the Mets are volatile.
9. Paul Molitor, Twins: Here's where things start to get trickier. Molitor signed an extension last October after guiding the Twins to the playoffs. Minnesota has had a disappointing season, and the Twins front office would probably like to hire their own skipper at some point down the road. Molitor likely gets another year, but if the Twins are bad again he could be out the door before 2020.
8. John Gibbons, Blue Jays: Perpetually on the hot seat, Gibbons has one guaranteed year left on his deal. Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins didn't hire Gibbons, and with a rebuild in progress it's worth wondering if they'll take this opportunity to change skippers before their youth movement arrives next summer.
7. Jeff Banister, Rangers: Clearly the Rangers have faith in Banister's boss, since Jon Daniels signed a multiyear deal earlier in the summer. Will Daniels exhibit the same belief in Banister? He has a club option for next year remaining on his contract, so we'll find out soon enough.
6. Don Mattingly, Marlins: The Marlins new ownership and front office might prefer to pick their own skipper. Mattingly has one year remaining on his contract, so the question is whether Miami would want to pay two managers for a season, or if they'll wait until next winter to make a change.
5. Jim Riggleman, Reds: Riggleman has done a nice job since taking over an interim basis following Bryan Price's dismissal. You can make the case he should have the label removed entirely. But until that happens, we're going to assume the Reds desire someone else as their next skipper.
4. Mike Scioscia, Angels: Maybe the report on Scioscia's future proves to be poppycock. For our money, it's never a good sign when a manager has to address his future in early August -- especially not when hours later the organization installs a successor candidate, in Eric Chavez, as Triple-A manager.
3. Ned Yost, Royals: Yost's deal will expire with the conclusion of the regular season. He's acknowledged in the past that he's unlikely to see the Royals' rebuild all the way through, and this would seem to be a sensible time for him to move into a figurehead role with the organization to whom he delivered a pair of pennants and a world title.
2. Buck Showalter, Orioles: Showalter's contract is up at season's end and the Orioles are dreadful. Depending on what the O's do with Dan Duquette, Showalter could well find himself in a front-office role.
1. Mike Shildt, Cardinals: Shildt ought to be a candidate for the Cardinals job. But until he's hired full time he's going to be viewed as the guy keeping the dugout bench warm for Joe Girardi.