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Q&A: Michael Imperioli

The Sopranos star on getting catching tips from Jorge Posada and hanging with Muhammad Ali

Posted: Wednesday November 28, 2007 4:23PM; Updated: Wednesday November 28, 2007 4:23PM
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Michael Imperioli

Last week SI writer Richard Deitsch interviewed Michael Imperioli for the magazine's Q&A. The 41-year-old actor plays a Mets catcher in Mitch Albom's For One More Day, which airs Dec. 9 on ABC.

SI: You requested a meeting with Jorge Posada to prepare for this film?

Imperioli: He's my favorite baseball player, and was so before I did this film. I sat with him in the dugout during batting practice.

SI: What did you want to know about being a major league catcher?

Imperioli: I wanted to talk to him about the mental aspect of being a catcher, They're like shrinks. They have to help the pitcher stay connected to the game and reel them in when they go off. Pitchers tend to be idiosyncratic. Some are flaky, and there is a solitary aspect to the job. The catcher is kind of their lifeline to the game.

SI: What else did Posada tell you about the position?

Imperioli: He told me what he has to do and how he communicates differently with everybody. On the Yankees, they speak different languages. I picked his brain about the mental aspect rather than the physcial. Some of the pitchers don't speak English, so they find their own shorthand language. Like with Chien-Ming Wang, he and Posada had to find their own little way of speaking together.

SI: Is playing a Met heresy for a Yankees fan?

Imperioli: In acting, everything is OK. If it's all right that I put someone's head through a window, than I guess it's OK to wear a Met uniform. We were shooting near Massachusets, and I guess the Red Sox organization called the production and asked if I wanted to throw the first ball at Fenway. I said I would do it only if I could wear a Yankese uniform. They didn't go for that. I would have got hit with batteries

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