CLEVELAND (AP) — Fully clothed, Grady Sizemore faced his public with nothing to hide.
Stung by having semi-nude photos of him posted on the Internet, Cleveland's popular center fielder said he never intended for the photos, which Sizemore maintains were stolen from an e-mail account, to be viewed publicly and that he regrets the embarrassment their exposure has caused.
"It's tough," he said. "This is a situation where it's a private matter and personal photos were stolen illegally. I've always tried to represent myself and the Cleveland organization as best as possible and to put everybody through this is a terrible feeling and I apologize to everybody."
In November, the photos — one of Sizemore standing nearly naked in front of a bathroom mirror — appeared online. Sizemore, who said he took the photos for his girlfriend, contacted Major League Baseball officials to stop them from spreading to Web sites.
On Wednesday night, Sizemore was a presenter at the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards. After appearing on stage, Sizemore addressed the scandal but failed to accept culpability in the photos going public.
"This is a private matter," he said. "I never intended for any of this to get out. I hate to have to put everybody through this, but in the end it just wasn't meant to come out. It was meant for me and my girlfriend and it just happened to work out the way it did.
"You always have to be careful, but this was something that was stolen out of an e-mail account. It wasn't like we intended for these pictures to go anywhere. We weren't flying them anywhere. We weren't showing them to friends. This was stolen out of an e-mail account."
While Indians fans may move on, there's a chance Sizemore may hear more about the photos in opposing ballparks.
"I'm not going to speculate as to what people are going to do," he said. "I've put it behind me and I'm looking forward to this year."
A two-time Gold Glove winner and three-time All-Star, Sizemore underwent offseason surgery on his elbow and abdomen. He has been cleared by doctors and won't have any limitations when training camp opens in a few weeks.
"I've been hitting and throwing and lifting and running and everything has felt good," he said.
Sizemore batted a career-low .248 with 18 homers and 64 RBIs before deciding to stop playing on Sept. 4.