“I am looking forward to the privilege of wearing the USA jersey,” Scioscia, the Los Angeles Angels manager from 2000-2018, said in a release. “It is a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
USA Baseball has not said if Scioscia will remain manager through the Olympics, should the U.S. qualify.
Scioscia, 62, is the third different U.S. manager in the last two years ahead of baseball’s first Olympic appearance since 2008.
Baseball will not be in the 2024 Olympics in Paris. It hasn’t been announced whether it will be part of the 2028 Los Angeles Games.
Joe Girardi was named U.S. manager in August 2019, three months before the first Olympic qualifying tournament. Girardi then took the Philadelphia Phillies job, and was replaced by Scott Brosius in October 2019.
Brosius managed the U.S. team that lost to Mexico in its first Olympic qualifying opportunity in November 2019, using a roster of mostly double-A and triple-A caliber players.
The Olympics, which always take place during the MLB season, have never included active MLB players.
The U.S.’ last two qualifying tournaments were postponed by one year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The winner of a North and South America tournament in early June in Florida earns one spot in Tokyo. The second- and third-place nations advance to the last-chance global qualifier from June 16-20 in Taichung, also a winner-to-Tokyo event.
The U.S., ranked second in the world, is to compete with seven other nations for one Olympic spot in the Americas qualifier — Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Colombia, Canada and Nicaragua.
Israel, Japan, Mexico and South Korea earned the first four spots in the six-team Olympic tournament.
Scioscia, who led the Angels to the 2002 World Series title, has no experience with USA Baseball as a manager or player.
He won the 1981 and 1988 World Series as a catcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers under Tommy Lasorda, the man most associated with Olympic baseball in the U.S. for managing the gold-medal team in Sydney in 2000. Lasorda died in January at 93.