Game-winning home runs followed by wild celebrations at home plate make for great theater and provide clips worthy of replays galore.
Sometimes, that unbridled glee comes at a cost.
Just ask Kendry Morales of the Angels, whose walkoff grand slam Saturday in Anaheim, Calif., left him unable to walk off the field. Morales broke his leg while leaping onto home plate and being smothered by his delirious teammates, the emotions getting the better of them.
“It wasn’t a fun night. It’s sickening to lose a player the way we lost Kendry. And it’s not going to happen again here,’’ said manager Mike Scioscia. “It’s an emotional game, and when you win like that, it’s so exhilarating when you get caught up in the moment. But we need to do a better job than to get hurt in a dogpile scenario celebrating a win.’’
Scioscia met with his players during a closed-door meeting before yesterday’s game and laid down the rules. Utilityman Robb Quinlan was recalled from Triple A Salt Lake to fill Morales’s roster spot, but the lineup card had catcher Mike Napoli at first base — a position he had never played in the big leagues.
Morales, 26, may not play again for a long while, but Scioscia emphasized it wasn’t a season-ending injury for the first baseman based on what the club has been told. Morales was scheduled to undergo surgery yesterday, but doctors decided to wait until swelling subsides.
The Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez hit an RBI double off the side of Huff’s head in the third inning of Saturday’s game in New York. The ball bounced into right field and Huff went down and stayed motionless for a while until giving a thumbs-up as he was carted off the field.
“Any time a pitcher gets hit by a line drive, everybody thinks the worst, especially when he’s not moving,’’ said Huff. “I just wanted to give a hand wave or some indication that I was all right.’’
Huff had more neurological testing done yesterday, and will continue to be evaluated for post-concussive symptoms, which don’t always manifest immediately. He said he slept well, had no headaches, and basically almost forgot that he had been hit unless he scratched his head on the wrong side.
Cleveland’s medical staff hasn’t decided if Huff is fit to take his next turn in the rotation, though Huff said he’s ready to go.
Rodriguez tried to go to the hospital immediately after the game, but Huff was already back in the Indians’ clubhouse. Instead, he gave Huff a call.
“It was a good conversation,’’ Huff said. “I was trying to get him to laugh because I know he was pretty struck by that as far as emotionally.’’