CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - When Mike Napoli was signed to a 1-year deal in the off-season, the "Dolan is cheap" crowd rolled their eyes and made the usual comments about the team picking through the bargain bins.
Anybody that actually dug a little deeper could see that it had a chance to turn out to be a good signing. He played very well for Texas down the stretch and I think you could overlook his first-half struggles with Boston, because of the surgery he was overcoming.
(Napoli had major surgery on his face to overcome sleep apnea.)
Now, working on his second full season since going under the knife, he sure looks the part of a big-time asset to the team. He's given the Indians a "power Nap," that's for sure, but it's more than the homers and RBIs -- he also brings that ever-important clubhouse element. The guys love him. He's not hitting guys in the face with pies like Trot Nixon did for the '07 club, instead, he's just throwing parties.
The "Party At Napoli's" theme has caught on and is poised for an even bigger presence as the summer continues. This team is good, and they are not going away.
Napoli's 18 homers and 60 RBIs after Friday night's bushwhacking of the New York Yankees are a key part of it.
Was he a bargain bin buy? Maybe. But big bucks don't always translate to big production. (COUGH, Swisher. COUGH, Bourn.) Sometimes you do the baseball math and it says to buy low on a guy. It's worked out for everybody.
Party at Napoli's? You bet. I'll bring the guacamole.
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