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MVP Easy Decision if Rangers Win World Series

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 24: Mike Napoli #25 and Neftali Feliz #30 of the Texas Rangers celebrate after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 4--2 during Game Five of the MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 24, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

    It's been talked about plenty by now.

    Mike Napoli has come a long way from being no longer wanted by the Texas Rangers' most fierce divisional rival, the Los Angeles Angels.

    He was traded twice in the span of four days before ending up with the Rangers, and thank goodness he did.

    Napoli has all but nailed down the World Series MVP honors if the Rangers go on to win this series with a 3-2 lead going into Game 6, and in all honesty he's been the best player on either team.

    That continued on Monday night in the Rangers' Game 5 victory in which they beat Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter.

    Napoli hit the game-winning two-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning off of the Cardinals' lefty specialist out of the bullpen, Marc Rzepczynski.

    Only problem is, Napoli has tortured left-handed pitching throughout his career, and that instance was no different.

    He now has nine RBIs in the World Series, bringing back memories of guys like Mickey Mantle.

    But he was nearly as big behind the plate as he was at it.

    Napoli gunned down Allen Craig twice at second base, once in the seventh to kill a Cardinals threat and again in the top of the ninth as part of a strike-'em-out-throw-'em-out in a failed self-imposed hit-and-run put on by Albert Pujols after Craig was hit by a Neftali Feliz pitch to lead off the ninth.

    Not bad for a guy that "wasn't a good catcher" and was deemed disposable by the Angels and former-catcher-turned manager Mike Scioscia.

    "I got labeled as not really a good catcher,” Napoli told ESPNDallas. “I’m glad I can show everybody I can do it on both sides."

    And with each passing game, Napoli is making the Angels regret their evaluation of his value.