When Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli awoke in the middle of the night, he knew something was wrong. It wasn’t the previous night’s 4-2 loss to the Cardinals. It wasn’t the phone ringing — apparently Dunkin Donuts and Old Spice would resume their nonstop endorsement requests in the morning. It wasn’t even the strange man standing over his bed with a razor in his hand.
It was his face.
It was cold.
As it turns out, Napoli had fallen victim to Dodgers relief pitcher and human meme Brian Wilson, who, in a fit of jealous rage, broke into Napoli’s hotel room and shaved the slugger’s much-beloved beard, hoping to bring media attention back to his own outlandish facial hair.
Though his lawyers repeatedly advised him against talking to the press, Wilson was unable to contain himself once a microphone was present.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I have just one thing to say: EPIC PRANK!” said Wilson, whose beard appeared to have bits of Napoli’s glued to it so as to appear even larger and messier. “Be sure to check out my latest Taco Bell commercial for raw uncut footage of my LEGENDARY prank on the Nap-man! That’s just how Mr. Epic Man does it — that’s my new nickname now, by the way. Everyone start calling me that right now.”
Though none would speak on the record, multiple Dodgers players privately hoped that this stunt would satisfy Wilson’s need for attention, at least temporarily.
“During the NLCS he kept popping into the frame during interviews and claiming he’d just headshotted us with an epic photobomb,” said one Dodgers player. “And then when we told him to stop, he started conducting imaginary interviews with himself in the locker room instead.”
Napoli, who vowed he would be ready for Game 3 despite this major setback, was nevertheless very upset.
“It was horrible — I’ve never felt so violated,” said Napoli, as he rubbed his bare chin and wiped tears from his eyes. “I knew she couldn’t stay with me forever, but I thought we had another couple months together. I… I never even got to say goodbye.”
At press time, Napoli politely declined teammate David Ortiz’s offer to make him a new beard from glued remnants of his pubic hair.