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May 10, 2012

Rangers catcher Mike Napoli on facing C.J. Wilson

The Rangers are scheduled to face the Angels and former teammate C.J. Wilson on Friday night, though the weather forecast doesn't seem favorable. So, at some point this weekend, Mike Napoli will almost certainly step into the batter's box to face the left-hander.

It's a matchup fans are eager to see, after the whole Twitter scuttlebutt this spring. For those who don't remember: Wilson thought it would be hi-larious to send Napoli a tweet saying to call him at a specific phone number. The number, and this is what Wilson thought was so funny, was Napoli's and not Wilson's.

The joke, claimed Wilson, was in response to Napoli saying he wants to hit a homer of Wilson when the face off. Of course, Napoli wants to hit a homer against every pitcher he faces.

Two months later, Napoli has moved past the prank.

"I'm not worried about all that off-field stuff. I’m here to play a baseball game,” Napoli said. "C.J. does what he does. I'm past that. But I will try to hit a home run off him."

The Rangers are looking forward to the matchup against Wilson, who they all agree is a good pitcher. But their primary concern is trying to beat the Angels, who are expected to be the biggest threat to unseat the Rangers in the American League West.

"We're going to go out there and try to play our game and go out to win," Napoli said. “We expect to win. We’re a confident group. We’re just going to treat it like another game.

"He's a good pitcher. He's good. But we've faced good pitchers before. We're going to go try to score more runs than they do. That's plain and simple. It's a division rivalry."

-- Jeff Wilson

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