2013 World Series: Mike Napoli Taking Grounders At Third Base Is Crazy
The Boston Red Sox just ruined where I was planning on going with this article. I was prepared to write about how some Red Sox fans are being absolutely ridiculous by thinking that Mike Napoli could catch during this World Series. The series has now shifted to St.Louis and their ballpark. Because it is now NL rules, David Ortiz has to play first base to get his bat in the lineup and that means Napoli sits.
The article that I had planned had basically written itself about how it made no sense to put a guy behind the plate who hasn’t caught a single inning this year. Not in preseason, not during the regular season — not a single inning. And then I turned on my television and saw Napoli taking ground balls at third base.
Third base? He hasn’t played there in the major leagues. And it didn’t look like a guy just kind of goofing around at the position, he looked like someone who was really learning the nuances and intricacies of playing there. John Farrell was asked about this, and he said that they were considering that option.
I really don’t know how I feel about this. The catching thing seemed so preposterous, but at least there he has played the position in the majors, played it well, and played it recently as in within the last year. However, his hip issue makes it extremely difficult to squat behind the plate for any period of time. Third base might be a lot easier for him. He did grade out to be the best defensive first baseman in the major leagues so perhaps Boston feels he is athletic enough to hold his own over there.
I sure wish that if they were going to do this, they would have done it sooner than Game 3 of the World Series. Just throwing that out there.