Player profile: Mike Napoli
While news swirled about avascular necrosis before last season started it’s unlikely that we’ll hear much more about it this year. The Red Sox re-signed Mike Napoli to a two year $32 million deal safe in the knowledge that his 2013 season exit medical showed no further deterioration
He showed throughout the 2013 season why he was offered $39 million before his surprising condition was revealed and he ultimately became a cornerstone of the Sox lineup. He has power few can match and an attitude and work ethic which Cherington so clearly coveted with his 2013 offseason signings. And you could tell early on that Napoli was comfortable in Boston, with the fans, the media and his team mates – not to mention the park dimensions. Where others had blamed the Monster for taking away home runs, Napoli swatted Cy Young award winning pitching over it.
If his work on the field and in the clubhouse had not already endeared him enough to Boston fans his enthusiastic, long running, World Series celebrations certainly did. He, like Jonny Gomes, will always be considered a Bostonian. It was reported that Napoli took less money to return to Boston and that suggests he also agrees with that statement.
One thing to watch in 2014
‘The Siesta’ is back and the the most important thing is to keep watching his at-bats while keeping a calm head throughout the (many) strikeouts, keep waiting for the one swing where he connects, you know it’ll be worth it.