Mike Napoli joined Rob Bradford and Mike Mutnansky on the Hot Stove show on Thursday to talk about his thoughts on the Red Sox entering spring training, as well as his career and the Patriots’ Super Bowl victory. To hear the interview, go to the WEEI audio on demand page.

Napoli has suffered from sleep apnea, and had surgery to correct it in the offseason.

“It’s all worked out,” Napoli said. “I’m really excited, working out hard, and I think it could be a really good year.”

The Red Sox first baseman admitted that his condition caused him to consider retirement after last season.

“At the end of the year, I wasn’t playing at all,” Napoli said. “I was banged up, but it was so frustrating that, in my mind, I was like, I don’t know if I can go through another year of just feeling like this.”

Last year wasn’t just a tough one for Napoli. After winning the World Series in 2013, the Red Sox finished last in the AL East.

“[Last year] we had a lot of different guys and a lot of younger guys and there were a lot of challenges for us last year, and it just didn’t work out,” Napoli said. “But we brought in a lot of veteran good hitters and some veteran pitchers that, you know, as I’ve been here early, and a lot of guys are showing up early, it’s been a great vibe.”

Many players and fans attribute the team’s 2013 success to the camaraderie in the clubhouse. Napoli said that he has already noticed a better atmosphere than last season.

“It’s been great,” Napoli said, adding: “We had a lot of young guys, and I feel like they learned and saw some things and they’re a little more comfortable around in the clubhouse just being able to talk to with some of the veterans and stuff. It’s just been different.”

Added Napoli: “We don’t even have [Dustin] Pedroia here yet, and it’s been great. Once he gets here and he’s all over everybody, it’s going to be fun.”

Red Sox manager John Farrell recently said that, as of now, he has Napoli batting sixth in a lineup that added a few big bats in the offseason.

“Of course I want to hit fourth or third, be in that part of the lineup, but it doesn’t matter to me,” Napoli said. “I’m going to do whatever’s best for us. I mean, you’re looking at Hanley [Ramirez] and Pablo [Sandoval]. … I’ll hit behind them, and I know they’ll be on base and I’ll have an RBI situation.”

Napoli, who has experience celebrating world championships, discussed a picture that circulated of Patriots receiver Julian Edelman after the Super Bowl. A woman took a selfie showing Edelman asleep next to her after an apparent one-night stand.

“That’s just crossing the line, I guess,” Napoli said. “That’s pretty rough, you can’t be doing that. The guy was sleeping. … That’s just not cool.”

For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

Blog Author: 
Nik Beimler

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The question to Sean Casey was, “What happened to you last year?”

“Some crazy stuff,” the former Red Sox first baseman responded.

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The question to Sean Casey was, “What happened to you last year?”

“Some crazy stuff,” the former Red Sox first baseman responded.

What happened was that the 40-year-old almost died.

He didn’t need a reminder, but two days ago he was offered one anyway thanks to the death of former NBA player Jerome Kersey. The 51-year-old passed away from a pulmonary embolism after experiencing a blood clot in his left calf. It was all too similar to what Casey endured about a year ago.”

“For me, it was one of those life-changing moments. It makes you take a step back and enjoy every movement. Not a day goes by where I don’t think about what happened.”

Casey survived what is called a Saddle embolism, which shuts down both lungs, not just one. His doctor told him after the fact that surviving such an incident is almost unheard of. Now, 13 months later, he has been afforded another chance to reflect on his good fortune.

Here’s what happened:

It was Dec. 15, 2013 and Casey and his wife were traveling back from David Ortiz‘s celebrity golf tournament in the Dominican Republic when he experienced a cramp in his calf. While his wife encouraged him to make a doctor’s appointment, the former ballplayer saw no need.

“Knee surgeries. Orbital surgery. Broke my back. Broke my pelvis. Shoulder surgeries,” he said. “I was walking wounded my whole life. Cramp in my calf? Are you kidding me? I’ll stretch it out a little bit.”

Later that week, however, he started surfacing a strange cough, leading his wife to another plea to see a doctor. Once again, he didn’t. But while traveling to New York for his work on MLB Network, Casey was forced to reassess.

He was getting a magazine at the terminal when his name was paged for his flight. Casey immediately dropped the newspaper he was looking at, started running to the gate, and then …

“I ran 10 feet and I literally went down to a knee,” he remembered. “It felt like somebody was sucking the life out of me. I thought I was having a heart attack.”

He had just had his Saddle embolism.

“One of the doctors said, ‘Do you believe in God?’ Yeah I believe in God. He said, ‘Well, this is kind of a God thing.’ He said that moment in the airport was your death moment,” Casey recalled. “People don’t come back from that.”

It still wouldn’t be until three days later that he finally got checked out, with the pain now going from his groin to his calf. After undergoing a CT Scan, a doctor was immediately called to discover the blood clot in Casey’s left leg.

Since the clot had been in there too long, Casey’s treatment was simply staying on the blood thinning medicine Xarelto. He was forced to draw back on his work at MLB Network, and didn’t feel quite well enough to make a return to the scene where it all started, Dominican last December (both mentally and physically).

This year he will be back with MLB Network on his full schedule, including his first spring training in two years.

“Now,” he said. “I’m thankful for each and every day.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford
Wade Miley

Wade Miley

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Wade Miley is hoping to go back to the future with the Red Sox.

Just three years ago with the Diamondbacks, the lefty hurler, selected in the first round of the 2008 MLB Draft, finished behind only Bryce Harper for National League Rookie of the Year. He was named the National League Rookie of the Month for April 2012, pitching 3’€“0 with a 1.29 ERA, striking out 15 in 21 innings in two starts. Miley took a no-hitter into the 6th inning of a start against Miami. He was also named a NL All-Star in his rookie season after beginning the 2012 season with a 9-5 record with a 3.04 ERA.

Miley won 16 games for the Diamondbacks in 29 starts in 2012 with a 3.33 ERA in 194.2 innings, which also included three relief appearances.

But in 2013, Miley took a step back from his strong rookie season, managing just 10 wins in 33 starts, despite pitching over 200 innings. Last year, Miley made another 33 starts but fell to 8-12 with a 4.34 ERA. For Miley, this offseason has been filled with anticipation, knowing that a fresh start could mean better results.

“You get that adrenaline when you come to spring training,” Miley said Friday morning. “It’s a long season but those four months get pretty long too and you get excited to get back after it. I’m definitely looking forward to it.”

The Red Sox are banking on Miley turning around a two-year slump. For that reason they acquired the 28-year-old left-hander from Arizona on Dec. 12 for pitchers Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster and infielder Raymel Flores. Then, on Feb. 5, 2015, Miley and the Red Sox agreed on a three-year $19.25 million dollar contract extension.

Clearly with a commitment of nearly $20 million, the Red Sox are projecting Miley as part of their starting rotation for this season, and the next two in Boston. But Miley still has that sense he is competing for a job in the rotation.

“It’s very important,” Miley said. “You have to come out and be prepared and do your best in spring training and hope for the best.”

Miley throws four main pitches with an occasional fifth. The main four are four-seam fastball and two-seam fastballs (ranging 88 to 92 MPH), a slider (79’€“82 MPH), and a changeup to right-handed hitters (80’€“81). He occasionally throws a curve in the mid-to-upper 70s, mostly against right-handers.

Miley joins a rotation that has Clay Buchholz and Rick Porcello at the top, with Joe Kelly, Justin Masterson also in the mix.

“Just trying to slowly get into the swing of things and be ready to face hitters when the time comes,” Miley said. “Definitely looking forward to it. Obviously, there’s a history here in Boston and what they did this offseason, going out and getting the guys they got. It’s definitely exciting to be a part of it.”

Reporting day: Friday’s clubhouse here was fairly subdued as pitchers and catchers officially made their way inside for their complete physicals and 1-on-1 interviews with manager John Farrell. The first day of workouts is Saturday, with the first full-squad workout for all players set for Wednesday.

Holding court: Shane Victorino is out to prove a point this spring, as Rob Bradford pointed out earlier in the week. On Friday, he was holding court with several reporters around a table in the middle of the clubhouse, speaking on various and random subjects.

Bulked up: Hanley Ramirez has come a long way from his days as a Red Sox rookie/prospect in 2005. Specifically, Ramirez looks more like a strong safety than the projected starting left fielder. He has arrived in Fort Myers appearing in excellent shape, especially up top around his shoulders. Ramirez is listed at 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, about 30 pounds more than he carried to camp in ’05. Ramirez, a lifetime .300 hitter, is now considered a power hitter and someone the Red Sox are counting on for middle-of-the-order production.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Major League Baseball and the players association jointly announced changes aimed at speeding up pace of play on Friday.

Major League Baseball and the players association jointly announced changes aimed at speeding up pace of play on Friday.

Fox Sports first reported the changes, which aren’t wholesale and won’t involve the pitch clock that tested in the Arizona Fall League.

Among the changes:

  • The league plans to enforce the batter’s box rule, which requires hitters to keep one foot in the box between pitches, unless an exception such as a foul ball, wild pitch, or call of time occurs.
  • Timers will count down 2:25 for a locally televised game and 2:45 for nationally televised ones during commercial breaks, with play expected to resume immediately.
  • Pitchers will only be allowed their traditional eight warmup pitches if they can complete them 30 seconds before the at-bat is scheduled to begin
  • Managers must now request replay challenges from the dugout, rather than standing on the field and waiting for a coach to signal that a play should be reviewed.

It’s important to note that violations won’t result in extra balls or strikes, but warnings and fines.

“These changes represent a step forward in our efforts to streamline the pace of play,” said commissioner Rob Manfred in a release. “The most fundamental starting point for improving the pace of the average game involves getting into and out of breaks seamlessly. In addition, the batter’s box rule will help speed up a basic action of the game.”

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

Pablo Sandoval's trainer says he's never been more prepared than right now. (WEEI.com)FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The last few days shouldn't have been a surprise to Pablo Sandoval.



Mut, Bradford, and Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo talk about the official opening of spring training tomorrow. Mike Napoli joins them and talks about sleeping better after his sleep apnea surgery, being ready to get back to baseball, and Julian Edelman. They then close things out talking about Xander Bogaerts improving on what he learned last season, and the newer, younger players in camp this spring.

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Mut, Bradford, and Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo talk with Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli. Mike talks about sleeping better after his sleep apnea surgery, being excited to get back to baseball, and the picture taken of Julian Edelman.

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Mut, Bradford, and Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo talk with Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli. Mike talks about sleeping better after his sleep apnea surgery, being excited to get back to baseball, and the picture taken of Julian Edelman.

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