Grady Sizemore’s status for Opening Day is uncertain

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Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that Grady Sizemore took batting practice and did some light jogging yesterday, but the center fielder hasn’t resumed full baseball activities yet nine months after undergoing microfracture surgery on his left knee.

Sizemore told Bastian that being in the Opening Day lineup remains his goal, but indicated that may be an overly optimistic timetable:

We built everything around Opening Day, but we’re not going to push anything or speed the process up to get to that point. If two weeks from Opening Day, I’m still a little bit behind, or I still need two weeks and five days, we’re not going to ramp it up so I can get an extra five days of work in. I want to be playing at the end of October or the end of September, not just at the beginning of April.

Bastian hints that mid-April may be more realistic, assuming Sizemore continues to be setback-free. Michael Brantley would slide from left field to center field if Sizemore isn’t ready for the opener, with Austin Kearns likely drawing most of the starts in left field.

Prior to suffering the knee injury Sizemore struggled to come back from offseason elbow surgery and hit just .211 through 33 games, so there are a lot of question marks surrounding the one-time superstar as he heads into what could be his final season in Cleveland.

Tony Clark: among players, the universal DH “is gaining momentum”

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Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark met the press late this morning and covered a wide array of topics.

One of them: free agency, which he referred to as being “under attack” based on the slow market for free agents last offseason.

“What the players saw last offseason was that their free-agent rights were under attack on what has been the bedrock of our system,” Clark said. He added that they “have some very difficult decisions to make.” Presumably in the form of grievances and, down the road, a negotiating strategy that seeks to claw back some of the many concessions the union has given owners in the past few Collective Bargaining Agreements. CBAs, it’s worth noting, that Clark negotiated. We’ve covered that territory in detail in the past.

Of more immediate interest was Clark’s comment that the idea of a universal designated hitter is, among players, “gaining momentum.” Clark says “players are talking about it more than they have in the past.” We’ve talked a lot about that as well.

Given that hating or loving the DH is the closest thing baseball has to a religion, no one’s mind is going to be changed by any of this, but I think, practically speaking, it’s inevitable that the National League will have the DH and I think it happens relatively soon. Perhaps in the next five years. The opposition to it at this point is solely subjective and based on tradition. People like pitchers batting and they like double switches and they like the leagues being different because they, well, like it. If the system were being set up today, however, they’d never have it this way and I think even the DH-haters know that well. That doesn’t mean that you can’t dislike a universal DH, but it does mean that you can’t expect the people who run the game to cater to that preference when it makes little sense for them to do it for their own purposes.

Anyway: enjoy convincing each other in the comments about how the side of that argument you dislike is wrong.