Wednesday's Rangers game didn't leave too many people with a smile on their face, but one man saw all he needed to see despite the loss.
Mike Napoli's grandfather was caught on video (brought to our attention by Big League Stew) celebrating his grandson's eighth inning home run. How do we know that it was Napoli's grandfather going crazy? Easy, he carried a big sign identifying himself as "Mike Napoli, Your Grandfather is Here From Ocala, Florida."
If that wasn't enough, Gramps was also wearing a hat that read Napoli. And if he's anything like most grandfathers we've met, he spent the entire game telling anyone within earshot what a wonderful grandson he has.
There's only one quibble with the whole scene. Napoli's grandfather needed a sign to be seen in that Tampa crowd about as much as a Victoria's Secret model needs one to stand out at a Star Trek convention. The only way you're missing someone in that crowd is if they came dressed as an empty seat.
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Napoli's grandfather probably isn't the only grandfather thrilled with the season that Napoli has put together. Jon Daniels is likely getting a little something extra tucked into his birthday card this year as a result of the deal that brought Napoli to Texas.
He got Napoli for a fungible reliever in Frank Francisco and has been rewarded with an 895 OPS, 24 homers and the kind of value that has played a role in keeping the Rangers ahead of the Angels this season. There have been moments when the Rangers have missed having Francisco in their bullpen, but those moments wouldn't come close to adding up to the amount of wins Napoli has added to the team this season. It wasn't the splashiest move Daniels has made as G.M. and isn't the best move, yet it is impossible to imagine the Rangers season playing out as well as it has without Napoli.
So keep on waving your signs and wearing your hat, Gramps, because your baby boy has done good this year.