Mike Napoli calls collision 'a clean play'

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Rangers catcher Mike Napoli, wearing a towel over his head and goggles on his eyes amid the postgame celebration following the Rangers' ALDS win, said he felt fine after that hard collision with Sean Rodriguez in the fourth inning.

Rodriguez came steaming toward home and met Napoli a fraction after Ian Kinsler's relay throw arrived. Rodriguez nailed Napoli, causing the catcher to fall backward. Rangers head athletic trainer Jamie Reed and manager Ron Washington came out to check on him. Napoli said Rodriguez "got me pretty good."

"It was a fine, clean play," Napoli said. "He was trying to score. I’m going to try to do the same thing if I’m trying to score and a guy is blocking the plate in that moment."

Rodriguez and Napoli were teammates with the Angels.

"We’re friends," Napoli said. "But once we get on the field, it’s time to play baseball and try to help your team win. He got me in the throat pretty good. I don’t know if it was his forearm, but he hit me pretty good. I was walking around to regroup a little bit."

Reed checked on Napoli throughout the game to be sure he didn't have any kind of concussion, but Napoli was fine. Napoli stayed in through the duration.