President Barack Obama rattled off 99 percent of the 2013 Boston Red Sox’s lineup without any trouble, but he stumbled over Mike Napoli’s last name during Tuesday’s speech at the White House.
The humorous mispronunciation didn’t go unnoticed by the first baseman or his Red Sox teammates.
“I was like, ‘Oh, damn!’ in my head,’” Napoli said of the moment, via WEEI’s Rob Bradford. “Then I heard some of the boys chuckle a little bit and have some body movement.”
John Farrell and Co. couldn’t stifle their laughs at Obama’s enunciation of Napoli’s surname, but the slugger took it all in stride — even if he did offer his own pronunciation guide for future reference.
“To clarify, it’s pronounced ‘NApoli,’ not ‘Napolee.’ But I chuckled about it,” Napoli said.
Despite the minuscule hiccup, Napoli said he thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience of celebrating Boston’s World Series title in the nation’s capital, with the team’s visit to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center serving as his favorite part of the trip.
“It was cool,” Napoli said. “When you’re with the President of the United States, standing behind him, and he’s talking to people about our season and what happened last year. It was cool. It was cool to be inside the White House and see all the security and everything you have to do to get in.
“I think I liked going to Walter Reed (Hospital) better. It interested me. All those people. Got to see a couple of patients and we tried to brighten their day a little bit. It was a long day, but it was cool to go to Walter Reed. That was probably the best part of my day.”
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