When Mike Napoli's three-year deal fell apart in the off-season due to concerns over a hip issue, he could have picked up and moved on to another team. Instead, Napoli agreed to a one-year, incentive-laden deal and provided the Sox with the middle-of-the-order bat that they were hoping for.
As he stood on the field Friday night, soaked in champagne and the glow of the A.L. East Division crown, Napoli knew he made the right choice.
"I love every single one of the guys in the clubhouse," said Napoli. "We really get along and our play on the field really shows that.
"We got to spring training and everyone just kind of clicked together. We have fun and we play for each other on the field. Nobody goes out there and plays for themselves. When you got guys doing that you're gonna win ballgames and we've got a great group of guys."
With the playoffs now assured, the Sox are seeking the best record in the league in order to assure themselves of home field advantage. But that's only the next step on the road to the ultimate goal.
"We're here for one goal," said Napoli. "There's no selfishness. We've got all the pieces. If everyone stays healthy we've got a chance [to win the World Series]."