Grady Sizemore glanced out toward center field, where he roamed for nearly eight seasons and where he chased down drives in the gap and had more than a few run-ins with the padded wall.
On Monday, Sizemore’s long, painful return to the majors brought him to a familiar place.
“It still feels like home,” he said.
A three-time All-Star with Cleveland, Sizemore, whose hustling, reckless playing style almost ended his career, was at Progressive Field for the first time as a visitor.
Signed as a free agent by Boston in January, Sizemore is finally healthy after missing two full seasons following micro-fracture surgery on his right knee and other medical issues.
As he sat in Boston’s dugout, Sizemore briefly reflected on his first big league home.
“I started here and it’s still kind of a piece of me,” he said, “so it feels weird being back and being on the other side.”
It’s remarkable that Sizemore is back at all.
But Sizemore, one of only three players to record 20 homers and 20 steals three times in his first four seasons, defied the odds.
“I got used to having a lot of setbacks the last couple years, so I’m just happy that I’ve been able to stay healthy and be on the field,” he said.
Francona on Manny
Indians manager Terry Francona isn’t waiting for an apology from Manny Ramirez.
Francona guided Boston to two World Series titles during eight seasons and was asked about comments Ramirez made last week during an event honoring the 2004 Red Sox, who won the franchise’s first title since 1918.
Ramirez apologized for his sometimes bizarre behavior in Boston, but came short of saying he was sorry for pulling himself from the lineup before a game in 2008.
Francona didn’t want to get drawn into a controversy and said he was happy Ramirez “is in a good place.”
Francona said Ramirez “for the most part, was a really lovable guy.” Francona added that “sometimes we bumped heads.”
Clearing the bases
The Boston Red Sox put first baseman Mike Carp on the 15-day disabled list with a broken right foot and welcomed back shortstop Stephen Drew. … Reliever Kevin Gregg has agreed to terms on a minor league contract with the Miami Marlins pending a physical. … Highly touted Houston Astros prospect Jon Singleton has agreed to a five-year contract and will make his major league debut today.