Mike Napoli, Former Angels Catcher, Continuing to Humiliate Halos with World Series Heroics
|Those were the days...|
That catcher, of course, is a name familiar to Angels fans: Mike Napoli, the catcher who displayed flashes of promise for five years before then-general manager Tony Reagins unceremoniously traded him and Juan Rivera for outfielder Vernon Wells at the end of last year.
I don't follow the Angels that closely, but I know enough that he consistently split time with catcher Jeff Mathis because manager Mike Sciocsia thought Mathis was the better defensive catcher. Not getting enough of a groove, Napoli never developed into a consistent hitter, even if he hit home runs with consistency.
Of course, what happened this year? Mathis blew; Wells--who was supposed to be the missing bat that would take the Halos to the World Series again--had a disastrous season. And Napoli, free from Scioscia's second-guessing, had a monster season: .320 batting average, 30 home runs, and 75 RBIs for the Rangers, helping them to the cusp of their first-ever World Series win.
Congrats, Napoli; I'm sure you and owner Nolan Ryan will rightfully howl it up at the expense of those goober Angels execs come champagne time. And vete a la chingada anew, Reagins!