ARLINGTON, Texas Mike Napoli spent three fewer years with the Texas Rangers than Josh Hamilton did but his homecoming trip to Texas had a much different feel.
While Hamilton was booed lustily in his return to Texas in Arlington, the fan favorite Napoli was greeted by cheers, a partial standing ovation and even a "Napoli" chant when he returned Friday at first base for Boston.
It's just the way Napoli wanted it.
"I had two great years here, a lot of moments I'll never forget," said Napoli, who was struck out by Derek Holland in his first at-bat. "It's going to be fun. I'm happy to still be playing baseball. I'm going to enjoy it and take it all in."
It's understandable that Napoli came to Texas in an upbeat mood, given the year he's had with Boston. He came into Friday's game leading the American League in RBI with 31 and doubles with 15.
Those are numbers that didn't look like they would be attainable during an...