Mike Napoli one game from title (again)
But Napoli, who would have likely been the 2011 World Series MVP had the Rangers finished the job, told the Boston Herald last week prior to the World Series, that it's motivated him ever since he left St. Louis after a loss in Game 7.
"I think about it all the time," Napoli told the newspaper. "I'll be home, sitting on the couch watching baseball, and you always play the what-ifs. What if I called a slider there (to Freese)? Or what if Nelly caught that ball? You go through that all the time. It hurts to this day. It was so close. That's the closest you could possibly be, and I was right there -- twice. For me, it took a while to get over. I don't think I'll ever get over it."
Now, he has an opportunity. Again. Napoli had to watch most of the three games in St. Louis without the DH in play. But with David Ortiz shifting back to DH, Napoli should be at first base Wednesday night as the Red Sox try to win the World Series at Fenway Park for the first time since 1918.
Napoli is easy to pull for. He's a good guy, a hard worker and someone who constantly supports his teammates. Perhaps in the next few days, he'll also win a title.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.