Mike Napoli’s days in Boston might be numbered, as the underachieving Red Sox are selling off veterans before the trade deadline. Napoli wound up with a little extra time to think about his future after a first inning ejection Monday night at Fenway Park.
Napoli struck out looking on a John Danks pitch and then tossed his helmet down. You can never judge intent or anything, but it looked harmless enough — more that of a frustrated player resigned to his fate rather than pure, frothing at the mouth anger. Either way the helmet hit the plate at just the right angle and popped up to hit home plate ump Toby Basner, who promptly ejected Napoli.
Said Red Sox manager John Farrell afterward, via the Boston Globe:
“There was no intent on the helmet hitting him,” Farrell said. “Equipment hits an umpire, it’s their immediate prerogative to eject a player. We needed Nap to stay in the game and unfortunately the helmet hits him, he’s ejected.
“There’s always a line of composure that’s got to be held and unfortunately the helmet bounced up and hit him.”
Call this bad luck and probably nothing more than that and emblematic of the Red Sox, who lost last night and now sport the worst record in the American League along with the Athletics.