The initial word on Grady Sizemore’s knee is encouraging

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Grady Sizemore anticipated the worst after re-injuring his right knee during Sunday’s game, but at the moment, it appears another microfracture surgery is not in his future.

Sizemore underwent an MRI on Monday and according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the initial report from the Indians is that the bone bruise is not the same kind of injury that caused him to have microfracture surgery on his left knee last season.

“It doesn’t appear to be anything as serious as my fears,” said manager Manny Acta.

Sizemore missed just two weeks after injuring his right knee in June. While today’s news is encouraging, there is no current timetable for his return.

Despite his knee problems, Hoynes writes that “chances are good” that the Indians will exercise Sizemore’s $8.5 million club option for 2012. The 28-year-old is batting .237/.304/.466 with 10 home runs and 29 RBI over 257 plate appearances this season. He is 0-for-2 in stolen base attempts.

Sandy Koufax to be honored with statue at Dodger Stadium

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Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax will be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium, expected to be unveiled in 2020. Dodger Stadium will be undergoing major renovations, expected to cost around $100 million, after the season. Koufax’s statue will go in a new entertainment plaza beyond center field. The current statue of Jackie Robinson will be moved into the same area.

Koufax, 83, had a relatively brief career, pitching parts of 12 seasons in the majors, but they were incredible. He was a seven-time All-Star who won the National League Cy Young Award three times (1963, ’65-66) and the NL Most Valuable Player Award once (’63). He contributed greatly to the ’63 and ’65 championship teams and authored four no-hitters, including a perfect game in ’65.

Koufax was also influential in other ways. As Shaikin notes, Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series to observe Yom Kippur. It was an act that would attract national attention and turn Koufax into an American Jewish icon.

Ahead of the 1966 season, Koufax and Don Drysdale banded together to negotiate against the Dodgers, who were trying to pit the pitchers against each other. They sat out spring training, deciding to use their newfound free time to sign  on to the movie Warning Shot. Several weeks later, the Dodgers relented, agreeing to pay Koufax $125,000 and Drysdale $110,000, which was then a lot of money for a baseball player. It would be just a few years later that Curt Flood would challenge the reserve clause. Koufax, Drysdale, and Flood helped the MLB Players Association, founded in 1966, gain traction under the leadership of Marvin Miller.