“Mike had to work on stuff that didn’t come naturally to him, more so than other catchers who maybe do it more naturally.” –Mike Scioscia
(skip to 3 minutes for the stuff Mike Napoli decided to work on in the 2011 playoffs while Scioscia worked on his golf game)
Treat this as fair warning to opposing pitchers this October. Ask Mitchell Boggs and he’ll tell ya, if you’re trying to keep fastballs on this planet, maybe think down and away to Napoli. Not that it would matter if he finds a groove. Napoli’s MVP-worthy 10 RBIs in the 2011 World Series tied him for most in a Fall Classic in the last 52 seasons (Sandy Alomar, 1997).** He’s got lumberjack power to all fields and he’s looking to set Boston on fire this postseason.
**(Other double-digit WS RBI guys: Bobby Richardson, 12, and Mickey Mantle, 11, in their losing effort vs Mazeroski’s Pirates in 1960, Yogi Berra, 10, in a 7-game win vs Brooklyn in ’56, and White Sock Ted Kluszewski in a loss to the Dodgers in ’59)
Marucci “Napoli Custom Cut”
Dressed for a funeral, Napoli steps in the box with all-black head-to-toe. Napoli’s murder weapon is a two-tone low-density Maple Marucci with a Lizard Skin grip. We found one at 35 inches, 32 ounces, cupped, which looks about right based on his lethal plate coverage.
Diamond Elite Pro II in black/white
The Hitman wears black Diamond Elite Pro II gloves with a white swoosh that are available online.
Nike Air MVP Pro in black/white
See two photos up for a good shot at these. You can grab these at that link.
You can see in the feature photo that Napoli is wearing an Evoshield leg guard without the foot protection. Thought its in blue in the feature, Napoli now wears black to complete the deadly theme.