After going under the knife for microfracture surgery on his right knee in September, former Tribe great Grady Sizemore appears to be another cautionary tale of an athlete leaving it all on the field with little regard for the long-term affects that ultimately short-circuits a possible hall of fame career.

Sizemore’s intention is to continue his road back onto a major league roster this year. Unfortunately,  with the news that his rehabilitation will keep him shelved until the summer months, an outside observer is probably looking at his plight as a ship that has long passed. And for those of us who got to watch his highlight reel efforts day in and day out, the sobering reality is that Sizemore’s body has waved the physiological white flag.

It’s quite interesting to look back at the trade from Montreal that brought him here. Sizemore being the proverbial shot-in-the-dark sweetener in the package of Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips and the immortal Lee Stevens. While Lee was solid at best until his breakout 22-win, Cy Young-winning season in 2008, and Phillips never blossoming (and frequently clashing with then-manager Eric Wedge) until being traded to Cincinnati, Sizemore became a model of consistency with his 30-homer, 30-steal potential, coupled with sterling defense that made him a frequent, if not daily, Web Gem highlight; as consecutive Gold Gloves in 2007 and 2008 attest.

His rise to stardom even lead to him being a Sports Illustrated cover-boy with a subhead championing greatness that was still in the embryonic stages. Simply put, Sizemore was so much more than the object of affection of Grady’s Ladies; we were watching an all-timer who had barely scratched the surface of his prime. He had the proverbial “it.”

But now we see a guy who has become betrayed by the rigors of being an iron man (and it really shows just how much a freak of nature Cal Ripken, Jr. was). The piper demands his due eventually. Even for those who willfully lay their health on the line for the rush that comes from a win; for those who fight their managers for the right to not take a needed day off.

It sure looks like we are seeing a great baseball player’s career ending ultimately unfulfilled. It is sad, unfair, cold ending to a baseball legend in the making. Here’s hoping he can resuscitate his career, but we’ll likely be thinking and talking fondly about a growing baseball supernova that never got the ending we have wanted and hoped to write.

 

13 Comments

  • The Doctor says:

    I fear this latest Sizemore injury development is merely a pre-cursor for us resigning him at 10x more than any other club would give him, then finding the front office surprised (and unprepared with a backup plan) that he’s unable to play. Too soon?

  • Chris Burnham says:

    Sounds about right.

  • Leo O'Neill says:

    Big old shocker, Antonetti was talking today about possibly bringing back Fausto and Sizemore. Looks like Victorino might be heading to Boston for around 3years/38m.

  • Steve Alex says:

    The race horses with the skinniest legs are the fastest and win the most races, until a leg breaks under the strain being put on it. Then you have to shoot the horse. It’s sad, but that’s the way it is. Elite talent rarely lasts long. As for Victorino, the money these free agents are getting is ridiculous. Victorino hit .250 last year and slugged .380, and he’s getting 13M a year? No way. Let Boston have him.

  • Leo O'Neill says:

    Can definitely see outfield coming from in-club rather than free agency. Carrera, Neal, Canzler and maybe Fedroff will probably get a few chances. As you say the money has got crazy. Even the likes of Hairston might be beyond us.

  • The Doctor says:

    Wow, and I thought the Pagan deal was terrible. For a team that supposedly prides itself on its commitment to metrics and analysis, signing Victorino at essentially any price, much less that one, makes zero sense.

  • Stephanie Liscio says:

    What baffles me when I look at the Boston perspective, why would you trade all of those bloated contracts last year, just to sign more bloated contracts?

  • Chris Burnham says:

    What Steph said.

  • Chris Burnham says:

    Tribe offered Victorino four years, $44 million. WOW. Too much. But an A for effort! (Ironic how we’ve turned this into a Victorino conversation in a Sizemore column. LOL)

    https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/276112170830422016

  • Steve Alex says:

    I’m glad Victorino didn’t sign with the Indians, not for that price. OMG. Besides, we have enough #2 hitters. We need an RBI man.

  • Cadfael says:

    Good to see we’re willing to toss around some dollars for once though, I guess.

  • gman1962 says:

    we need to make some moves other wise its going to be another sad, boring summer of indians losses.. how about swisher, upton, gincarlo stanton. lets trade perez and get somebody who wants to be here and fil some infield gaps- 3rd base and first base. Napoli would have looked good here. pestano is ready to take over the closer’s role. move choo and get some ready for the big show pitching arms. francona, i hope you are being agressive with the front office to try and get you some talent.no 5 year plan needed here, with a few good moves, we could win now.

  • GwinnettDad says:

    Just one more chapter of futility and disappointment from Cleveland, Ohio, a city on the longest overall losing streak in the history of sports.