Reds in “advanced talks” with outfielder Grady Sizemore

22 Comments

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.

Clayton Kershaw’s initial prognosis: 4-6 weeks on the disabled list

Getty Images
3 Comments

Some seriously bad news for the Dodgers: Ken Rosenthal reports that the initial prognosis on Clayton Kershaw is that he will miss 4-6 weeks with his bad back. A final determination will be made after he gets a second medical consultation.

Kershaw exited Sunday’s start against the Braves with back tightness after just two innings of work. He was seen talking with trainers in the dugout after completing the top of the second inning and did not return to the mound for the third. Kershaw has a history of back problems. Last year he missed over two months with a herniated disc in his back.

Assuming the preliminary schedule holds, Kershaw would be on the shelf until late August at the earliest, but more likely early-to-mid September. The Dodgers currently hold a 10.5 game lead in the NL West so they can withstand his absence. But if they have any hopes of advancing in the playoffs, they’ll need a fully armed and operational Clayton Kershaw to do it.

David Price was a complete jackass to Dennis Eckersley

Getty Images
24 Comments

In late June, Red Sox pitcher David Price confronted Hall of Famer and NESN analyst Dennis Eckersley during a team flight to Toronto. The circumstances of the argument were not clear at the time and at least one report said that it was a “back and forth,” presumably about some critical comments Eckersley made on the air about Price. We learned a few days after that it was less of a “back and forth” than it was Price merely berating Eckersley.

Now, via this story from Dan Shaugnessy of the Boston Globe, we get the true flavor of the exchange. It does not reflect well on Price or his teammates:

On the day of the episode, Price was standing near the middle of the team aircraft, surrounded by fellow players, waiting for Eckersley. When Eckersley approached, on his way to the back of the plane (Sox broadcasters traditionally sit in the rear of the aircraft), a grandstanding Price stood in front of Eckersley and shouted, “Here he is — the greatest pitcher who ever lived! This game is easy for him!’’

When a stunned Eckersley tried to speak, Price shot back with, “Get the [expletive] out of here!’’

Many players applauded.

Eckersley made his way to the back of the plane as players in the middle of the plane started their card games. In the middle of the short flight, Eckersley got up and walked toward the front where Sox boss Dave Dombrowski was seated. When Eckersley passed through the card-playing section in the middle, Price went at him again, shouting, “Get the [expletive] out of here!’’

Assuming this account is accurate, Price’s behavior was nothing short of disgraceful. Disgraceful in that Price was too much of a coward to take his issues up with Ecklersley one-on-one. Beyond that, it’s classic bully behavior, with Price waiting until he was surrounded by lackeys to hurl insults in a situation where Eckersley had no opportunity to effectively respond.

But it’s mostly just sad. Sad that David Price is so painfully sensitive that he cannot handle criticism from a man who is, without question, one of the best who has ever played the game. One of the few men who has been in his shoes and stood on that same mound and faced the same sorts of challenges Price has attempted to face. And, it should be noted, faced them with more success in his career than Price has so far.

No one likes criticism, but David Price is at a place in his life where he is, inevitably, going to receive it. And unlike virtually every other person who may offer it to him, Dennis Eckersley knows, quite personally, of what he speaks.

Shame on David Price for acting like a child. Shame on his teammates for backing him up. Shame on John Farrell and the rest of the Red Sox organization for not sitting Price down, explaining that he messed up and encouraging him to apologize. And, of course, if he apologizes now, it’s not because he means it. He’s had a month to reflect. It’s simply because his disgraceful behavior is now all over the pages of the Boston Globe.

What a pathetic display.