If given the opportunity to give five Cleveland athletes a clean bill of health, these would be the choices.
What if you could give an athlete a clean bill of health? How would the ramifications affect the future of your favorite squad?
It’s a question FanSided’s Michael Dunlap posted on Twitter, which got me thinking about Cleveland athletes lost o injury/illness.
With the recent news that Jim Thome got into the Hall of Fame, it’s important to remember that talent alone won’t lift a player to the top of their craft. Athletes must be able to answer the bell day in and day out.
Some of its training, some of it’s luck.
For example, Bo Jackson was the epitome of the male physical specimen when what looked like a routine tackle against the Cincinnati Bengals ended his career.
You just never know when it’s going to end, so with that in mind, if I could give five Cleveland athletes a clean bill of health, these would be my choices.
Grady Sizemore, OF, Indians
Grady Sizemore was THE next big thing in baseball.
By the age of 2x, Sizemore was a three-time All-Star, a two-time Gold Glove winner and had finished no lower than 12th in MVP voting from 2006-2008.
The Indians identified the Washington state native as a key part of their future and made their signature move of buying Sizemore’s early free agency years, giving the then 23-year-old a six year contract worth just north of $23 million.
The Indians looked like geniuses for the early part of that contract, but then the njuries started in 2009 with Sizemore hurting his groin during Spring Training. He seemed to shake the injury bug until September, when he underwent surgery for an elbow injury that had bothered him since Spring Training.
The beginning of the end came in 2010 though, when after 33 games, Sizemore had micro fracture surgery on his left knee. He wouldn’t play again until April 17, 2011. Two injuries to his right knee landed him on the DL twice that season, and then he needed sports hernia surgery.
The Indians declined his team option for 2012, but after Sizemore talked to some other teams, he returned to the Tribe, signing a one-year, $5 million contract.
Sizemore never played another game for the Indians and didn’t return to MLB until the 2014 season when he played for both the Red Sox and Phillies. He finished his career in 2015 with the Rays.