Two years ago we called Carl Crawford, signed by the Red Sox as the reincarnation of Roman Meijias, the home run hitting bust the Sox traded for in 1962.
We were so wrong. Meijias lasted two full seasons, not hitting and sinking slowly, and Carl Crawford was gone by trade deadline in a fell swoop with other malcontents.
Now the Red Sox have revisited the glorious days of 1962 by signing a new first baseman (or catcher). In the height of the cellar-dwelling Sox era, the team found the benighted Pittsburg Pirate Dick Stuart and brought him to Boston for power.
Alas, Dick Stuart was also called Dr. Strangeglove.
This winter season the Sox have now signed Mike Napoli, a stone fingers first baseman with ostensible power to clean up at Fenway.
We loved Dick Stuart who hit many home runs and gave the team an off-kilter fun quality during a deplorable season. We’d be lucky if “Nap” can do the same. We surely don’t want Nap Time to be the emblem of the 2013 season.
Dick Stuart lasted two years before his antics and disruptive influence sent him packing, but the Red Sox are nothing if not optimistic. Napoli will be at Fenway for three years.
Even if Napoli doesn’t hit many home runs, he will be the perfect clubhouse guy. Apparently eschewing beer and chicken during the game, Napoli will make the clubhouse a place of warm feelings and welcoming media with glad-hands.