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It's Been Real, Napoli

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It's Been Real, Napoli

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Mike Napoli of the Texas Rangers celebrates his two-run home run with teammate David Murphy in the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park April 18, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

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Nap-o-li, Nap-o-li, Nap-o-li will take on a whole new tone in 2013, quite literally.

The chant heard 'round Rangers Ballpark ad nauseam over the past 1 1/2 seasons will now be said with Northeast vigor in Fenway as the Texas Rangers have lost free agent catcher Mike Napoli to the Boston Red Sox, who agreed to a 3-year, $39 million deal on the first day of the Winter Meetings on Monday.

The deal is pending a physical, which is expected to take place on Wednesday, according to ESPN Dallas, but it's as good as done.

Napoli, of course, will be forever remembered for his scorching second half of 2011 that stretched into the postseason and would've included a World Series MVP award if the Rangers had managed to get one last strike, twice.

Napoli regressed back to his normal Napoli self in 2012, which isn't bad, but it's not nearly as good as he'll probably get credit for when remembered by Rangers' fans, who will most certainly not be happy about the Rangers letting him go.

He hit 24 home runs, right around his career average, and hit a career-low .227. In his career at Fenway Park, Napoli has hit .306 with a .397 on-base percentage with seven homers and 17 RBIs in 19 games in the legendary park.

Reports all said Napoli wanted to catch, which led many to believe he'd return to Texas, but he signed with Boston where he'll spend most of his time at first base as the Red Sox have a young, good catcher in former Ranger Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Godspeed, good buddy.

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