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Slumping Napoli tries for new look

Slumping Napoli tries for new look

SEATTLE -- Mired in a hitting slump, Angels catcher Mike Napoli is hoping to change his luck with a new look -- a Mohawk. It's not as extreme as the notorious Robert DeNiro version in the movie "Taxi Driver," but it was enough to draw a reaction from his mother when she saw it over his cell phone.

"My mom's not too happy," Napoli said.

It's a first for the big catcher, who has frequently talked about doing it but finally took the initiative -- to the amazement of teammates Robb Quinlan, Brandon Wood and Jeff Mathis when he dropped it on them.

"They were all on the [clubhouse] couch" Tuesday night, Napoli said. "I told them I was gonna go shave a Mohawk. They said, `No way.' I said, `Really, let's go.'

"I needed a haircut, and I wanted to do something different this time. Plus, I figured you guys would come talk to me."

One of the writers regularly covering the club suggested he might have tried something less drastic -- like hitting a home run -- to get that accomplished.

"I haven't done that in a while," Napoli said, grinning.

He came into Wednesday's series finale batting .214 with 10 homers and 23 RBIs in 112 at-bats. He was in a 1-for-24 slide and hasn't homered since May 18, when he went deep twice against the Dodgers.

Mathis, his good buddy, caught the first two games of the series, homering in the opener against ex-Angels southpaw Jarrod Washburn. The Angels are 18-15 in Napoli's starts, 18-9 when Mathis gets the call.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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