Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports is reporting that the Reds are in “advanced talks” with free agent outfielder Grady Sizmore. Rosenthal adds that other teams are involved, however, and that Sizemore might ultimately head in another direction. Reds GM Walt Jocketty said he hopes to “get something done next week,” according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Sizemore hasn’t played in the Majors since 2011 as he has been dealing with knee and back injuries since 2010. In May 2010, he suffered a microfracture in his left knee which required surgery, ending his season. He returned in mid-April 2011 but missed a month and a half between mid-July and early September with a sports hernia which also required surgery. He returned on September 5 but had just five hits — all singles — in 38 plate appearances. In October, he had surgery on his right knee. On March 1, 2012, Sizemore underwent surgery again, this time to repair an injury in his lower back. He missed the entire season. In September, he had knee surgery on his right knee again.
Obviously, Sizemore has been the victim of some very poor luck over the last few years, interrupting what was once a promising and potentially Hall of Fame-worthy Major League career. From 2006-2008, Sizemore was an All-Star three times, a Gold Glove winner twice, and he won the Silver Slugger for center field in the American League in 2008.
Now 31 years old, Sizemore is attempting to resume his career with a welcoming team. He’ll have to settle for a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.
As per tradition, towards the end of the regular season, veterans on baseball’s various clubs haze the rookies by making them dress up and do something a bit embarrassing. That used to include things like making rookies dress up like women and carry pink backpacks, but Major League Baseball banned that practice, so veterans had to get marginally more creative.
The Phillies had their rookies — including Rhys Hoskins, J.P. Crawford, and Nick Williams — dress up like characters in Grease and perform “Greased Lightning” at their hotel in Atlanta on Friday night. Not only did the Phils’ vets and other members of the crew get a free show, but so did employees of the hotel and nearby hotel patrons.
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As MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki explains, Hoskins was the inspiration for the gag as he has earned the nickname “Rhys Lightning.” (Rhys, for the uninitiated, rhymes with “Grease.”) Hoskins said, “You always hear about team chemistry. I think stuff like that let’s you get to know guys on a different level, when you’re not at the field. You just become more personable with people. The better relationships you have, there’s a different level of playing for each other. And I think that’s usually a sign of a good team.”
The Twins also had some fun at the rookies’ expense:
Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge went yard twice in Sunday afternoon’s 9-5 loss to the Blue Jays, bringing his season total up to 48. That leaves him just one home run shy of tying the single-season rookie record set by Mark McGwire with the Athletics in 1987.
After Sunday’s performance, Judge is hitting .281/.416/.610 with 48 home runs, 105 RBI, and 122 runs scored in 651 plate appearances. He has the AL Rookie of the Year Award on lock and is neck-and-neck with the Astros’ Jose Altuve, Chris Sale of the Red Sox, and the Indians’ Corey Kluber in the AL MVP Award race.