Scioscia: Home-plate collisions part of game

Scioscia: Home-plate collisions part of game

Scioscia: Home-plate collisions part of game
ANAHEIM -- As one of the leading authorities on the art of catching, Angels manager Mike Scioscia was asked on Thursday morning to comment on the home-plate collision with the Marlins' Scott Cousins that resulted in season-ending injuries to Giants catcher Buster Posey on Wednesday night.

Scioscia, who was known for his ability to block the plate during his 13 years as a Dodgers catcher, had not seen video of the incident, but responded in general terms to the dangers inherent in the play that felled one of the game's premier young talents with a broken ankle and other injuries.

"There's a code that's alive in baseball that it's acceptable [to do what's necessary within the rules] if you're trying to score a run and the catcher is trying to stop you from scoring. Ninety-nine percent of the time, it's the adrenaline of the runner understanding he's trying to score the run and the catcher trying to stop him.

"I don't know if there's enough to rewrite the rulebook. We work on technique, and it's the catcher's comfort level on trying to secure the plate and absorb the contact the best way he can.

"I know a lot of the collisions I had looked worse than they were, because I was able to absorb most of the contact. Baseball governs itself pretty well on plays of contact. There are guidelines well accepted by players. If a player's trying to score and a catcher is trying to block the plate, it's part of baseball and will continue to be part of baseball."

Scioscia was tutored in the art of blocking the plate by such early masters as Del Crandall, John Roseboro and Roy Campanella in his youth with the Dodgers. He took his share of jarring collisions, while also delivering some punishment in return on occasion.

"From personal experience, I never had any psychological issues afterwards where I would back off from making a play," he said. "Carlton Fisk was injured and still had to make a play. Steve Yeager got hit hard a couple times and played for years after it.

"I know I had a concussion, sure. I was knocked out once by Chili Davis. He hit me like a linebacker on a blitz. He separated his shoulder on it and I was woozy."

Scioscia, who is as impressed with Posey's multiple talents as everyone else in the game, said he hoped the Giants' youthful star "makes a full recovery and returns as good as ever."