Mike Napoli Has [insert ailment here]

The Mike-Napoli-failed-physical saga continues and speculation abounds: What’s wrong with Mike Napoli?

On December 3, the Red Sox were baseball’s big newsmakers, reaching a 3-year, $39 million deal with Napoli. More than 21 days later, the deal’s still not done. Allegedly, the 31-year-old catcher has a questionable hip that’s keeping the deal from being finalized.

Word on the street is Mike’s holding out for a Drive Medical Deluxe Clever Lite Rollator Walker provision to be included in the contract. And he doesn’t want any Rollator Walker…he wants the one with 5-inch aluminum casters. I like the flame blue, too. Ball hard, Mike. Ball hard.

While both sides insist they’re just clearing up some legalese in the paperwork, it’s been a story that’s keeping eyebrows raised across the baseball spectrum. So what’s really wrong with Napoli? Mike Napoli has [insert ailment].

Mike Napoli Has A Severe And Debilitating Lightning Phobia

True. Mike Napoli has a very real fear of lightning. It might be so severe that it’s called a childlike fear. The events of July 8, 2012, are living proof.

Watch how fast Napoli gets out of the box…he’d leg out a few dozen infield singles if he moved that fast regularly.

Ian Kinsler lives without fear of lightning and never even flinches (see 1:10 mark). This will make Ian Kinsler a more attractive free agent when he hits the market.

Mike Napoli Has Jello Ankles

Kudos to BallTribe.com’s early diagnosis of Mike Napoli’s adult onset jello ankles. Napoli truly does have jello ankles, which could be an issue. Seems like gelatin ankles would be a good reason to pull the plug on the Napoli deal.

Mike Napoli Has Never Been Worth $13MM Per Season

“Oh man, did we just offer Mike Napoli 3-years, $39 million? I’m sorry! Okay, how do we get out of this one??” – Ben Cherington, on December 4.

Take away Napoli’s 2011 campaign when he posted 5.6 WAR and the catcher/1B averages 2.4 WAR per season. Last season Napoli was worth two wins above replacement, the same as BoSox existing catcher, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and .5 wins more than BoSox new backup backstop David Ross. Ross was had for 2 years, $6.2 million.

Perhaps Ben Cherington and company instantly regretted the purchase of another catcher.

Mike Napoli Has A Case Of The Joe Mauers

Worst case scenario: Mike Napoli has a case of the Joe Mauers. In catchers’ cadence, the a case of the Joe Mauers is an undiagnosed ailment that begins to show itself once money is introduced to the equation. In 2010, Mauer had been one of the game’s better catchers. He signed a long-term extension with the Twins before the 2011 season, then promptly missed half of the games that season (and was bad the other half).

Mauer’s condition was called “bilateral leg weakness” which is code for having a case of the Joe Mauers. In his time off, Mauer persevered by doing Head & Shoulders shampoo commercials. Mauer has since recovered (somewhat), but his illness awaits its next victim.