6. Mike Napoli, C/1B, Rangers - Napoli feels far more relaxed being out from under the thumb of Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who is tough on his catchers. Napoli was hitting .296 with 18 homers, 44 RBIs, and a 1.011 OPS entering yesterday. He has the lowest ERA (2.37) among active catchers with at least 250 innings. "I always felt like I was looking over my shoulder to see if I was doing things right,'' Napoli said of his time with the Angels. "I had ‘bad hands.' I was so worried about my setup and the mechanics all the time. I learned a lot. I learned a lot of what I do there, but playing there just wasn't much fun.''
As someone who can't stand Scioscia's habits of trying to control the game from the dugout and managing like he's playing against little leaguers, I have to admit that this comment was music to my ears.