Scioscia will miss Sparky Anderson

Angels manager Mike Scioscia lost one of his most important mentors over the winter.

Sparky Anderson, the Hall of Fame manager, had become an important fountain of advice for Scioscia over the years. Scioscia and Anderson lived near one another in the Thousand Oaks area and Scioscia used to run into him in on occasion. He occasionally called him when he had a particularly thorny problem with his team.

Anderson died in November from complications of dementia. Scioscia was unable to attend Anderson’s funeral because it was a small, family-only affair, but he said he spoke to him about a month before he died.

He compared the feeling to losing former Angels executive Preston Gomez, who died at age 85 after being struck by a car at a gas station in 2009.

“You talk to them so much that it’s like they’re with you every day,” Scioscia said. “Something they said will come up. You definitely think back and remember the conversations.”