Originally posted on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 3/1/13
Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump. After a slow and steady hip rehabilitation, Mike Napoli is set to make his Red Sox debut today at JetBlue Park vs the Pirates; something that fans, the front office, and teammates are eager to see. It’s easy to understand why some of the most excited people to see Napoli in a Red Sox uniform are Red Sox pitchers. “You kind of wonder, ‘How are other teams getting this guy out?’ ” reliever Daniel Bard said. “He’s obviously putting up good numbers overall, but I think we were helping out a lot. We couldn’t figure out how to get him out. It’s good to have that guy on your side for a change.” Napoli has made victims of most members of the current staff, whether it’s two-time All-Star Jon Lester (.400, 2 HR, 1.337 OPS), one-time Cy Young candidate Clay Buchholz (.333, HR, 1.167 OPS), former teammate John Lackey (HR, 1.056 OPS), promising left-hander Felix Doubront (.333, HR), steady reliever Craig Breslow (.400, .900 OPS) or even set-up man Koji Uehara (1-for-1). “When he comes up, you know he has bad intentions,” Buchholz said. “He wants to hit the ball hard.” And even though Napoli strikes out at a steady rate — 26 Ks in 81 plate appearances against current Sox pitchers — it’s the threat of what he can do if he gets ahold of one that makes him so dangerous. Herald: Napoli won't be hurting Red Sox staff anymore We all know after watching Napoli with the Angels and Rangers, this guy loves Fenway Park. The 31-year-old C/1B has a career average of .306, with 7 HR and 17 RBI; not to mention a .397 OBP. So this is the start towards resolving an argument: Does Napoli have a prototypical swing for Fenway Park? Or was he just a punisher of a dismal Red Sox pitching staff? Either way, $5-million for one-year of Napoli is well worth finding out. It still amazes me that the Red Sox wound up saving $34-million when they discovered Napoli's hip condition. I kinda feel bad for the guy. Imagine agreeing to a contract to play in one of baseball's best cities for $39-million. Then poof...gone.  That's the biz though. It all starts today for Napoli and proving that he's capable, despite his hip condition. Here's to hoping he continues torch Fenway Park and puts stock towards that big payday. Rest of the links: Globe: Holt brings energy to competition in Red Sox camp | Herald: Crisis averted for Will Middlebrooks | Herald: New 1B feels same about Daniel Bard | Projo: Sutton might be best internal Middlebrooks insurance | ESPNBoston.com: Lackey takes next step in 'process'
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