Well, this stings a little bit, but it wasn't unexpected. Bud Black has accepted an offer from the Padres to be their next manager. It's the job he's been waiting for, and probably just about the only one he would have taken in the next few years. Good luck to Bud and the Padres.
What's this mean for the Angels? Under Black, the Angels have developed Jarrod Washburn (who actually started under the previous regime), John Lackey, Ervin Santana, and Joe Saunders. He was able to get better performances than he should have gotten out of Ramon Ortiz and Kevin Appier in his tenure. Interestingly, following the World Championship in 2002, the Angels only had one (that's right, 1) above average year from a starter in the next two seasons. Of course, they turned that trend around in 2005 and 2006, winning a Cy Young, and producing eight above average seasons in ten rotation spots (if you consider Colon/Weaver/Saunders as one rotation slot - all three were below average last season).
But Black's legacy with the Angels will the success of the bullpen under his tenure, always above average and frequently at the top of the league. He got productive seasons out of such luminaries as Lou Pote, Al Levine, Ben Weber, Brendan Donnelly, Mark Petkovsek, and others. That's not exactly a hall of fame waiting list. Add those to terrific seasons out of Scot Shields, Frankie Rodriguez, and Troy Percival, and well, his successor will have his work cut out for him. Bullpens are notoriously unreliable from one year to the next. Black and Scioscia hit on a formula that appeared to effectively minimize that volatility. Hopefully Scioscia can find a replacement who can fill that role with the same effectiveness.
In addition, Scioscia and his coaches have always seemed to be on the same page. His relationship with Black has, from the outside, appeared to be fairly close. Can he find a replacement who fits into the Angel family just as well as Black? We'll see. Who will it be? Hell if I know. Check this Halos Heaven thread for speculation.