SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) -- Ryan Freel is back where he started --fighting for a starting job in the Cincinnati Reds outfield.
A year ago, Freel was convinced he'd finally made it. The starting job in center field was his. The Cincinnati Reds gave him a seven million dollar contract extension that felt like a long-term commitment.
But then on May 28 at Great American Ball Park, he ran full-speed into fellow outfielder Norris Hopper while chasing a fly ball.
Freel had a severe concussion and a sprained neck and missed five weeks, and then missed more time when he tore his knee.
Now the 32-year-old outfielder finds himself playing a lot of different positions this spring while someone else is in center field.
But Freel says he's not going to change his hard-charging style of play.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Copyright 2008 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.