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The real Will Middlebrooks emerges

No longer a rookie, Red Sox third baseman lets his personality match his talent

Updated: March 28, 2013, 2:34 PM ET
By Gordon Edes | ESPNBoston.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Mike Napoli was standing in front of his clubhouse cubicle, speaking with a small cluster of reporters, when a baseball bat wielded like a boom microphone snaked into the middle of the group.

Napoli's face registered no surprise at the interloper. There's some history here.

"I'm a jokester," Will Middlebrooks would say later. "I play around. I keep things light."

This would not have happened last spring, when Middlebrooks, in his first big league ...

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