So far, spring training’s been bringing us a lot of downers. Vazquez is lost, Kelly’s arm is buggy, Koji’s starting the season on the DL and Victorino’s been grandfathered into an outfield slot that seemed all but given to Rusney Castillo.
But there’s been some good news, too. For one, this team’s been scoring runs by the shitload (an actual metric measurement). For another, Mike Napoli is, to borrow a phrase from Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, born again hard. Maybe it’s the extra-hillbillyish beard he’s sporting or the results of recent surgery to cure sleep apnea. But everyone’s favorite ape is positively pounding the ball this spring and it’s been a beautiful fucking thing to see.
A couple nights ago he knocked a ball out of Jet Blue Park with a broken bat, as effortlessly as a mere mortal might wave off a waitress approaching with a pot of coffee. Last night, he muscled one way, way outta the Twins’ CenturyLink Sports Complex… and it’s entirely possible that the ball hasn’t landed yet.
Look, I’m the first to admit that heading into the season, our pitching is suspect. But if our bats can keep up the damage they’ve been doing this spring, and if Napoli has re-found that killer stroke, all bets are off. These guys are gonna roll through town like Conan and his hordes and hear nothing but the lamentations of opposing pitchers.