FORT MYERS, Fla. – Mike Napoli made his debut at JetBlue Park Sunday afternoon, arriving carrying a Texas Rangers equipment bag and first baseman’s glove after driving over from Fort Lauderdale.
After playing a light game of catch with John Lackey, Napoli discussed the condition of his hips, which were diagnosed with possessing Avascular necrosis (AVN).
The catcher-turned-first baseman said that other than some time immediately after the diagnosis, the condition has not interrupted his preparation.
“I don’t have any symptoms,” he said. “I went through a physical and they checked out my hip and they found I had AVN. It’s something I don’t feel. I’m on medicine now. I have an MRI coming up to see how everything is and just go from there. Just take it day by day and see what happens. I’ve been hitting, throwing, doing everything, working out. I was doing everything before I found out I had it. We took a little step back, staying off impact for a while, see what that does and just go from there.”
Napoli said that while the condition – which was diagnosed after he had agreed to a three-year, $39 million deal with the Red Sox on Dec. 33 – threw some uncertainty his way, there wasn’t any sense that he would be landing with a different club.
“No, because we never really squashed anything,” said Napoli when asked if he believed another team would lock up his services during the 51 days between Red Sox agreements. “They always expressed they want me here. We never lost contact. We just had to figure out what the problem was and what was going on in my hips. It never [entered] my mind I wasn’t going to be here.
“From Day 1 with the three-year contract I was happy to be here. Everything worked out. We got it figured out and we’ll go from there.”
Yet, even though Napoli was confident he would be able to come to terms with the Red Sox (eventually settling on an incentive-laden, one-year deal), he did admit to some anxious moments when trying to determine the extend of his ailment.
“I was just trying to figure out what was wrong,” he said. “I had to see a bunch of doctors, flying all over the country, getting different opinions. The first thing was to see where my health was and what I could do. When we figured that out we were able to talk to teams again and it came down to signing here.”
Napoli will be working exclusively at first base throughout spring training, having previously played 133 major league games at the position.
Listening to the 31-year-old, however, and there seems to be some hope that catching isn’t totally out of his future plans.
“I’ve been out there before. I’m comfortable,” he said regarding playing first base. “It’s not like I’m out there on an island, or anything. I’ll go out there and I’ll work at it and try to make myself better every day. I’m excited. It will be a lot more taking stress off my body being over there then behind the plate. We’ll see what happens. Hopefully this hip thing goes away and I’ll be able to get behind the plate. For now we’re going to worry about playing first base and go from there.
“You go out there and take ground balls, but it’s always easier being in the same position all the time. You just have to work at it, take your ground balls and get better at it.”
Dale, Michael and Jerry dig into the details of this draft for the Patriots with ESPN's Mike Reiss.
Giardi and Price discuss the Tom Brady appeal getting overturned and Roger Goodell's victory tour. The guys can't believe the victory lap and some of his behavior. The more you listen to him, the more frustrating his behavior becomes.
Giardi and Price break down how the teams in the AFC East altered their futures after the NFL Draft weekend.
Jeff Goodman calls Mike and Rob to drop a ton of knowledge on the upcoming NBA Draft and some of the names available. Sorry fans - he doesn't see Kevin Durant or any big-named free agents coming to Boston and thinks they'll end up making the third pick this season. He also says that there is NO WAY he would trade next year's Brooklyn pick because the draft will be very deep. He discusses the chances of trading with Philly for Okafor, why he like Kris Dunn so much and much more.
Brad Stevens makes his first appearance on the Dale and Holley with Thornton show. We discuss the Atlanta series and what went wrong, and where the Celtics go from here.
Ian Thomsen of NBA.com joined Sam Packard and Jared Weiss to discuss the next moves for Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics with the NBA Draft Lottery rapidly approaching. They discussed the crazy ending to Game 2 of Thunder vs Spurs and picked the player they would build their pretend new franchise around.
Who is to blame for the Red Sox 10-9 loss to the Blue Jays? Danny points the finger.
Tim talks with Red Sox manager John Farrell before the Red Sox game against the Blue Jays. John talks about Clay Buchholz move to the bullpen and adjustments he expects him to have to make going from the starter to the bullpen.
Mut recaps the Sox 8-2 loss to the Rockies.
DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.
DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.
Butch is joined by two-thirds of the Sunday Skate show in DJ and Pete. The guys discuss the problems with Bruins including leadership and grit, who should stay and who should go and if Claude is to blame.
Lucy's parting shot after not taking the job is to attack Dino for how he treats producers.
Bernie Sanders wants to debate Trump.
Yaz was on hand at Fenway last night to honor the '86 team and Wade Boggs' number retirement.
Laroy Streat keeps setting fire to the airways and talks people singing his Freestyle Fridays to him when they see him on the street! Catch our guy every friday via final drive! He's must listen radio!
We end the week with the best in sound Laroy Streat continues to set fire to the airways with his music.
The guys talk Red Sox pitching and the problems that could arise with Buchholz struggles.
Jerry is joined by Graig Murphy to talk stand up comedy. Until Graig pretty much hijacks the podcast to tell his side of the "Big Show Unfiltered" story.
Ben and Russ preview the Champions League Final between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid. Who we want to win, who we think will win, and why. We also talk about our wishes for the USMNT.
The Dennis and Callahan malcontent is joined by former WEEI personality Pete Sheppard to talk about his past involvement with the station and his current gig in New Hampshire. You'll be glad to hear Pete hasn't changed one bit.
The producer search is over now that Paul and Ken have accepted the job. With their new found job security, they are free to bitch about working three A-holes, the Lucy charade, and the process behind getting the gig.More from this show