Scioscia Defends Napoli Trade, Says Durability Issues Were Main Concern
Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Tuesday that he and Texas Rangers slugger Mike Napoli did not have a personal conflict which lead to Napoli's trade, according to an ESPN.com report. Napoli was traded along with Juan Rivera to the Toronto Blue Jays for Vernon Wells in January. The Blue Jays then traded him to Texas, where he hit 30 home runs.
"We did not butt heads, that's absolutely false," Scioscia said on ESPN radio. "Mike had to work on stuff that didn't come naturally to him, more so than other catchers who maybe do it more naturally."
Napoli has been terrific in the postseason. In five World Series games, he has two home runs and nine RBI. Still, Scioscia insists that the Napoli trade was due mostly to concerns about his health, not play. "I think we have to wait a couple years first. Right now, it's obvious. Mike Napoli is having an incredible run with Texas," Scioscia said. "He was certainly capable of doing what he did and we valued him. The thing that cracks me up is when people say we didn't think he was any good. We played him a lot more than Texas has this year over his career with us."