Mike Napoli, Former Angels Catcher, Continuing to Humiliate Halos with World Series Heroics

Categories: Sports
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Those were the days...
This year's baseball World Series between the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals has been a thriller--two close games decided by one run, followed by two blowouts, followed by yesterday's thrilling Game 5, which saw the Rangers rally in the bottom of the seventh with two runs on a bases-loaded double by the Rangers' catcher. That same catcher guided closer Neftali Feliz to do the nigh-impossible--strike out Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols on a 3-2 pitch at the top of the ninth inning--and threw out a baserunner trying to steal second base for the great double play.

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!

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7 comments
ER
ER

Napoli lead the team in strikeouts and was hitting a paltry .260 and played horrible behind the plate. Hindsite is 20/20. If I could be a GM or Manger and make decisions being able to see into the year after he sucked I would be the best GM in the world. No crystal balls dude. Fact was he stunk and he was coming up for contract. He had to go. Conger will be great. You will buy his jersey some day!!

Dan Chmielewski
Dan Chmielewski

"I don't follow the Angels that closely..."

You're right there.  But I agree, Napoli's loss to the Halos was tough; powerful bat on display for all to see now. But since you don't follw the Angels that closely, let me point out that you left out former relief pitcher Darren Oliver's stellar pitching out of the pen...

crapoli
crapoli

I stunk sooo bad the Blue Jays let him go too. He would have stunk it up again on the Angels. He has something to prove this year. He will stink again next year. Back to the Nap we all know.

909Jeff
909Jeff

I for one am glad he's gone... He was my Chica's favorite player... What can I say she has a thing for white guys with tattoos and a panza... 

I joke... I really do miss having the guy out there and am very happy to see him doing well!  

909Jeff
909Jeff

Yeah because Mathis and Conger were soooooo much better.... Go kick rocks!

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Only problem with that analysis is that Napoli didn't play with the Blue Jays one game. But you just might be right on the trying-to-prove himself bit...

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