Mike Napoli, Clay Buchholz discuss pros, cons of baseball sleepover

Mike Petraglia
April 21, 2014 - 12:30 pm
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There's very little that can truly scare Mike Napoli. Sleeping on the bottom bunk of bed that has a grown man and starting pitcher on top qualifies. Monday was one of those truly bizarre days at Fenway, thanks to the unkind schedule-maker and MLB that had the Red Sox play a nationally televised night game on ESPN hours before the traditional 11:05 a.m. Patriots' Day contest. To compensate, and to help Napoli get added treatment on a sore left kneecap, the Red Sox provided a solution. Years ago, when the Red Sox renovated their clubhouse, they put aside a room designed to allow staff, players and coaches to sleep in, if needed. Sunday night into Monday morning provided just such a scenario. "There's two bunk beds in there," Napoli told reporters after Monday's 7-6 loss to the Orioles. "Just a dark room, blankets, pillows, all the necessary things to sleep. "I didn't want to deal with all the traffic. Just being here was easier. I knew it was going to be an early morning, so just stayed here. We have a sleep room upstairs. It's convenient." Of course, Napoli had a sore kneecap because Orioles reliever Darren O'Day drilled him in the bottom of the ninth. "I mean, I could move my leg around and run. It was just a little sore," Napoli said. There were three Red Sox players who elected to take advantage and avoid Monday's traffic into the Fens. Napoli, Monday's starter Clay Buchholz and John Lackey. So that meant someone had to bunk up. With Buchholz starting, Napoli and Lackey decided to split the other. "I was bottom. Had Lackey above me," Napoli said, before confessing he was "kind of scared he was going to fall through, to tell you the truth." Napoli didn't get much uninterrupted sleep as he said there was someone getting an early morning workout. "They're here early," he said. "I heard someone slamming weights at, like, 6 in the morning. It kind of pissed me off a little bit. It's all good." Apparently, the Fenway sleep and treatment worked, as Napoli exacted revenge on O'Day with a titanic shot to the Monster seats in left-center in the eighth to draw the Red Sox within two, 7-5. "I was just trying to get on base. We were down a couple runs," Napoli said. "I was just trying to stay short to the ball and got a pitch up I could handle. I wasn't going up there trying to hit a home run. I was just trying to stay short to the ball and get on base." The sleepover worked a lot better for Napoli than Buchholz, who was shelled for six runs and seven hits in the third inning and couldn't get out of the third. But Buchholz expressed no regret -- or excuses - afterward. "I would've had to wake earlier than I did here to get here this morning, so that had nothing to do with it," Buchholz said. "[Not being with the team Sunday night] wasn't an option. It was getting here in the morning. "That's just like having an 8 o'clock ESPN game and then flying out to Toronto. I don't fly out early. I'm not going to go to bed until exact same time than I'm going to get to the hotel anyway. The way the schedule is for us, especially playing night games, it's hard to go to bed before 2 o'clock in the morning so that's what I add it up to. I didn't think it was any different [Sunday] night." Napoli and the Red Sox were desperately trying to finish their second major comeback in 14 hours, as they wiped out a 5-0 hole Sunday night before walking off with a 6-5 win. With the tying runs in scoring position and David Ortiz at first, Napoli could only manage an RBI groundout to second to make it 7-6 before Mike Carp grounded out to first to end the game. "I mean, special day, of course we wanted to go out there and win," Napoli said. "We got down early. Our bullpen kept us in the game, kept chipping away and we had a chance to win that game at the end of the game, so we fought hard but fell short. But we've got a big series coming up. We'll take it one day at a time and try to get on track."

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