Not to brag, but we've been on the Mike Napoli bandwagon for some time now. The man has done nothing but mash for most of his career, yet it's as if all of baseball has only recently figured this out. Napoli has done a whole lot to make himself known during this World Series -- after Monday night's clutch double, he has nine total runs batted in so far, while the rest of the Rangers combined have 10. He's even been playing some sterling defense behind the plate. This was a guy who was traded twice in the offseason, once for what's left of Vernon Wells and another time for a reliever. We'll call that a steal for Texas.
Are you surprised?
It's tough to stand out among the murderer's row that is the Rangers' lineup, but Napoli had the highest OPS on the team by far -- his 1.046 OPS this season dwarfed Adrian Beltre's second-place finish at .892.
Meanwhile, Vernon Wells put up a sub-.700 OPS in Los Angeles, while Frank Francisco had 17 saves in Toronto. Neither the Angels nor the Blue Jays made the playoffs, as you might have noticed.
Do you buy La Russa's excuse?
Napoli mashes against lefties -- his career OPS is almost 100 points higher when the pitcher is a southpaw. Tony La Russa said that crowd noise led to a bullpen mixup, which resulted in lefty Marc Rzepczynski's being left in to face Napoli. It did not go well for the Cardinals.