Mike Napoli

Mike Napoli on Hot Stove show: I considered retirement after last season

February 20, 2015 - 8:14 am
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Mike Napoli joined Rob Bradford and Mike Mutnansky on the Hot Stove show on Thursday to talk about his thoughts on the Red Sox entering spring training, as well as his career and the Patriots' Super Bowl victory. To hear the interview, go to the WEEI audio on demand page. Napoli has suffered from sleep apnea, and had surgery to correct it in the offseason. "It's all worked out," Napoli said. "I'm really excited, working out hard, and I think it could be a really good year." The Red Sox first baseman admitted that his condition caused him to consider retirement after last season. "At the end of the year, I wasn't playing at all," Napoli said. "I was banged up, but it was so frustrating that, in my mind, I was like, I don't know if I can go through another year of just feeling like this." Last year wasn't just a tough one for Napoli. After winning the World Series in 2013, the Red Sox finished last in the AL East. "[Last year] we had a lot of different guys and a lot of younger guys and there were a lot of challenges for us last year, and it just didn't work out," Napoli said. "But we brought in a lot of veteran good hitters and some veteran pitchers that, you know, as I've been here early, and a lot of guys are showing up early, it's been a great vibe." Many players and fans attribute the team's 2013 success to the camaraderie in the clubhouse. Napoli said that he has already noticed a better atmosphere than last season. "It's been great," Napoli said, adding: "We had a lot of young guys, and I feel like they learned and saw some things and they're a little more comfortable around in the clubhouse just being able to talk to with some of the veterans and stuff. It's just been different." Added Napoli: "We don't even have [Dustin] Pedroia here yet, and it's been great. Once he gets here and he's all over everybody, it's going to be fun." Red Sox manager John Farrell recently said that, as of now, he has Napoli batting sixth in a lineup that added a few big bats in the offseason. "Of course I want to hit fourth or third, be in that part of the lineup, but it doesn't matter to me," Napoli said. "I'm going to do whatever's best for us. I mean, you're looking at Hanley [Ramirez] and Pablo [Sandoval]. ... I'll hit behind them, and I know they'll be on base and I'll have an RBI situation." Napoli, who has experience celebrating world championships, discussed a picture that circulated of Patriots receiver Julian Edelman after the Super Bowl. A woman took a selfie showing Edelman asleep next to her after an apparent one-night stand. "That's just crossing the line, I guess," Napoli said. "That's pretty rough, you can't be doing that. The guy was sleeping. ... That's just not cool." For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

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