UConn tragedy hits home for Scioscia

UConn tragedy hits home for Scioscia

ANAHEIM -- The untimely death of University of Connecticut football star Jasper Howard hits home with Angels manager Mike Scioscia, and not just because Scioscia knows how it feels to see a young athlete's life taken from him.

Scioscia told reporters before Tuesday's Game 4 of the American League Championship Series that his family is friends with the family of UConn quarterback Johnny McEntee, who knew Howard well.

"We're [McEntee's sister's] godparents," Scioscia explained. "We've known the family for almost 30 years, so it's tough to see them go through that."

And it is, of course, tough on the UConn players and coaches, who practiced Tuesday for the first time since Howard was fatally stabbed early Sunday, just hours after helping the Huskies in a homecoming win over Louisville.

It's not difficult to draw parallels between the tragedy at UConn and the tragedy on April 9 in Anaheim, when Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed by an alleged drunk driver just hours after a strong performance against the Athletics at Angel Stadium. The 20-year-old Howard and the 22-year-old Adenhart were two young men on the rise in their respective athletic careers, and their lives were tragically cut short.

Scioscia can certainly sympathize with what UConn head coach Randy Edsall is going through right now.

"It's something that is surreal when you're going through it," Scioscia said. "But again, our perspective is, it's about a family losing a son. As we've supported Nick's family through this, it's given us a little sense of peace. There is no manual at handling things like this. And it's obviously a tragedy that goes far beyond anything we do in playing this game."

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.