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.”
We had an impromptu visit from Peter King from SI / MMQB to our Fenway Studios and decided to talk some NFL and Patriots with him.
Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Dale, Holley and Rich Keefe discuss NBA lottery pick Lonzo Ball with his very outspoken father Lavar Ball. The guys touch on the Celtics, his feud with his sons' high school coach, Lonzo being better than Steph Curry and much more.
Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.
Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.
Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts after he provided the big hit in the 10th inning driving in 3 runs as the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 4-1. Mookie talks about playing behind a pitcher like Chris Sale, and the amount of strikeouts from Sale lightens his work in the outfield.
In the final hour Christian talks about the Celtics and their poor performance and how they can not let a player like Rondo beat them. The Aaron Hernandez saga in Christian's opinion is similar to a TV show. In the late night low light a mystic has predicted that WW3 will be starting in a few weeks and Christian wonders how do you become a mystic and can you make a career out of it.
Christian talks about the Patriots visiting the White House and Gronk interrupting Sean Spicer during his press conference. Aaron Hernandez was the big story of the day and alot of people had their theories of what happened and why now. The Bruins lose another close one to the Senators and Christian talks about how the offense needs to perform better because they got a great game from the goalie and defense.
Hour 4. While discussing what kind of music Aaron Hernandez may have liked, the guys realize they hate musicals. Robert Kennedy Jr. has voice spasms. The week ends with a tragedy.
Hour 3. A game by game breakdown of the Patriots schedule. Kirk has the Patriots losing 12 games. There is breaking news that Hernandez left a note for his gay jailhouse lover.
Hour 2. Mut, Gerry, and Kirk compare LeBron to Bird. Is he the second best player of all-time if he wins a fourth title? Headlines with Kirk features sound from “Hot Chocolate.” Rear Admiral broke down the B’s playoff series with Arcand.
HOUR - The last hour of the show was all over the place as the guys did a dry rehearsal of a wacky video they're supposed to record next week. They also look at the biggest games in the NFL next year, and Fauria rips off "Keefer Madness" with his "Fauria Euphoria."
HOUR 3 - The guys get into expectations for the Celtics who are down 2-0 to the Rajon Rondo-less Bulls. They also wonder how much the Celtics are listening to Brad Stevens. Christian is excited for Caitlyn Jenner's nude spread.
HOUR 2 - News breaks that Rajon Rondo is out indefinitely with a fractured thumb. Rondo was dynamite in game 2. The guys discuss whether or not the Celtics now stand a chance.
Last two hours focused on our winter teams as they struggle in their first round match-ups.
Finish out the week on Freestyle Friday talking mostly about the Aaron Hernandez suicide and how it will affect his family in hour #2.
Hour One of freestyle Friday focused mostly on the Celtics and their matchup vs the now Rondo-less Bulls.
Kirk Minihane, Springsteen super fan, is joined by Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band. Kirk and Garry talk about what it's like on tour with Bruce, how the band goes about selecting songs for the tour, Garry's projects away from the band, and Garry's upcoming solo tour that will bring him to the New England area.
Kirk Minihane, future radio hall of famer, sits down with current radio hall of famer Howie Carr. Kirk and Howie talk about Howie's latest book Kennedy Babylon. If you like famous people engaging in sex scandals, hard drug taking, and murder this is the podcast for you. Its a fascinating look at Boston's most famous family and the problems that took the family down.
Kirk Minihane, host and overlord of the morning show, brings Gerry Callahan and producers Chris and Ken into the studio to hear his show proposal. Kirk is thinking about making some changes to the morning show and wants to hear his crew's opinion.
Ben sits down with Diego Fagundez to talk about Diego's rise through the ranks of the academy, his accomplishment of reaching 10,000 minutes as a homegrown player, and how he has evolved his game.
Rich and Ben discuss the Celtics poor performances in Games 1 & 2, how we have to change our predictions, Rajon Rondo's thumb injury, and who is to blame for the terrible start to the series.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis recap the entire week of K&C shows in one mega Friday edition
Michele McPhee joins Kirk, Gerry, and Alex to talk about Hernandez’s suicide and the accusation that she may have contributed to his suicide.More from this show
Hour 4. While discussing what kind of music Aaron Hernandez may have liked, the guys realize they hate musicals. Robert Kennedy Jr. has voice spasms. The week ends with a tragedy.More from this show
Hour 3. A game by game breakdown of the Patriots schedule. Kirk has the Patriots losing 12 games. There is breaking news that Hernandez left a note for his gay jailhouse lover.More from this show
Hour 1. Mut believes Hernandez may have killed himself because of a threat. Trump is “done” with Brady after the quarterback skipped the White House visit.More from this show
Hour 2. Mut, Gerry, and Kirk compare LeBron to Bird. Is he the second best player of all-time if he wins a fourth title? Headlines with Kirk features sound from “Hot Chocolate.” Rear Admiral broke down the B’s playoff series with Arcand.More from this show