In recent days, the Rangers have let go of two Mikes. One has only been in Texas a short time while the other has been a fixture for more than a decade, but they are both memorable players in the franchise, if only for me. Each definitely has a special place in my baseball heart.
First … Mike Napoli.
When he came over to the Rangers before the 2011 season, I struggled with how to feel about it. In my mind, I could still see him in an Angels uniform, destroying Texas pitching. In other words, he was evil.
It didn’t take Mike long to win me over. Really, if you watch him in interviews or on the field, he is quite charming. I quickly saw how well he fit in with the rest of the team, how hard he played, the way he handled our ever-changing pitching staff and the bat that I had feared while he was an Angel. Only it worked in our favor, and I loved when it hurt his former team. Those “NA-PO-LI” chants were amazing — a bit overused toward the end of his tenure, but still amaz...