Mike Napoli calls sleep apnea surgery “one of the worst things I’ve ever (gone through)”

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Sean McAdam of CSNNewEngland.com shares the gory details about the painful facial surgery that Mike Napoli had earlier this offseason to help end his long battle with sleep apnea …

Napoli underwent the procedure – bimaxillary advancement – in November. Surgeon Dr. Leonard Kaban broke Napoli’s jaw in two places, then shifted his lower jaw forward to create a bigger airway. Though his trademark beard has grown back, Napoli’s profile is now noticeably different.

He spent two days in Mass. General’s intensive care unit and felt excruciating pain for more than another week. When he was released, he was limited to a liquid diet. He dropped considerable weight, which he only recently gained back.

“I still have some complications,” Napoli told McAdam. “I don’t have feeling in my lips or my chin, because they stretched out my jaw so far and all the nerves take time to come back. It can take up to a year. … It was probably one of the worst things I’ve ever (gone through), to tell you the truth. It was a brutal process.”

But he says he’s sleeping better and has felt much more energized during his offseason workouts.

Napoli appeared in only 119 games in 2014 for the last-place Red Sox, batting .248 with a .789 OPS, 17 home runs, 20 doubles, and 55 RBI. He hit .259 with an .842 OPS, 23 home runs, 38 doubles, and 92 RBI across 139 games in 2013. The 33-year-old first baseman is entering the final year of a two-year, $32 million deal.

Nationals’ major leaguers to continue offering financial assistance to minor leaguers

Sean Doolittle
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
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On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.

After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.

Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.

The full statement:

Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.

We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.

We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.

Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.