Its Going To Be A Different Season Without Grady Sizemore And Pronk
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I first went to Progressive Field in the opening week of 2007. I was supposed to see a doubleheader with the Mariners in town to play the ‘Tribe”. What I received instead was a foot of snow and a cancellation. I went to the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame instead. That is one cool place to go if you do have a weather related suspension of a game. I was disappointed because I wanted to see Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner light it up for the Cleveland Indians.
I made the drive back to Toronto for a game indoors. As I was driving to Toronto – it was announced that the Cleveland Indians were going to be moving their 3 games series versus the Angels to Miller Park. I was already heading to Wrigley Field for my 1st ever visit and bought tickets to the 1st and 2nd game of the Series in Milwaukee. I would have a chance to see the Cleveland team play after all. I am a Yankees fan – however I really wanted to see this duo swing the sticks.
Grady Sizemore Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is Advised:
Hafner had just come off a .308/.439/1.097 year with 42 HRs and 117 RBI – while Sizemore went .290/.375/.907 with 28 HRs, 11 3B and an AL Leading 53 2B and 134 Runs Scored. Between the two of them, they nearly led in all AL offensive categories. For Sizemore, his 92 Extra Base Hits represents one of the greatest years ever for a Lead-Off hitter.
Hafner and Sizemore didn’t fare so well in that series, however they both turned out great 2007 seasons. The Indians had the Boston Red Sox on the ropes in the ALCS – taking a 3 – 1 Series lead before blowing it to the eventual World Series winners from Beantown. The Indians had CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, these two ALL – Stars and looked to have a bright young team. So what happened to the team?
Lee and Sabathia were traded in the subsequent years – and the injuries began registering at a record pace for Hafner and Sizemore.
Hafner missed almost half of the time due to injury from 2008 – 2012. In his limited time played over the last few years, the guy has still had decent power number in his At – Bats. The fear of his of lethal bat has been gone for a while. He now has signed a 1 Yr Deal with the New York Yankees for 2 Million Dollars. He will probably have to platoon with another player as he really struggles vs LHP.
As a strict Designated hitter, with Left Handed pop, maybe “Pronk” can revitalize his career by swatting big flies at Yankee Stadium. If the can put up a decent 2013 campaign, they may even re – sign him for a couple of more years. It was a good move for the former Indian to sign with the Bronx Bombers.
Sizemore had one more great year in 2008 before the injuries kicked in for him. He played in only 33 games in 2010, 71 games in 2011, and he hasn’t played in one inning since. It is extremely sad to see someone’s career derailed so quickly as the former Montreal Expos Draft pick was. I can’t believe the man is only 30 Years Old.
That is right folks, Sizemore broke into the Major Leagues at just 21. He came over with Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips and Lee Stevens, for Bartolo Colon. Can you imagine if Cleveland never would have traded @DatDudeBP – and featured a lineup of Sizemore, Phillips and Hafner all in their prime? Or if they could have kept Lee and Sabathia? But that would cost the team almost $65 Million Dollars a year for the departed chuckers and Phillips.
Sizemore is still a Free Agent as of this blog. He says he may be ready for a team by the ALL – Star Break, but we all have heard this rhetoric before. I am not sure he will ever be able to come back and play consistently. It is a lot like the Orioles former Lead – Off man Brian Roberts ( I will write about him later in the week).
Seeing this situation of a team obliterated by injuries to their top offensive talent, reminded me of when the Cubs lost Kerry Wood and Mark Prior to extended injuries that impeded their careers. The Cubs were able to fight it off about 4 – 5 years later, but that is when the two players had basically lost their significant role with the club or weren’t with them outright. As we see with the Cubs now, they are still reeling from the effects of it.
The Indians have an excitement about the club this year. I hope the fans will think fondly of these two players when they think back. They both played for dominant 4 – 5 year stretches from 2004 – 2008, plus pulled their team to within one game of the World Series. Ahh. but it was no to be. 1948, 1995 and 1997 still are implanted in Cleveland’s minds as years to look back to.
Maybe the two of them can both come back and play in an alumni game in the future..That is if they allow a Designated Hitter for Pronk – and if they are not injured.
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Chuck Booth – Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner and author of the Fastest 30 Ballgames: To learn more about my “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book” and how to purchase it, click here . You can also follow my Guinness Book of World Record Successful Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 Days - click here. I am happy to be part of such an awesome Magazine-Style Baseball Website and am looking forward to talking to all of the fans of the MLB. You can reach me on Twitter here Follow @mlbreports
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Posted on March 13, 2013, in MLB Player Profiles, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged 2007 ALCS, @chuckbooth3024 on twitter, baltimore orioles, bartolo colon, boston red sox, brandon phillips, brian roberts, cc sabathia, Chuck Booth, cleveland indians, cliff lee, Gold Glove Award Winner AL, grady sizemore, kerry wood, lee stevens, mark prior, miller park, montreal expos, progressive field, russell branyan, travis hafner, wrigley field. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.