Tuesday's baseball: Ex-Twins manager battling cancer
Scottsdale, Ariz. — Ron Gardenhire, the new Diamondbacks bench coach and former longtime Twins manager, has prostate cancer.
The 59-year-old Gardenhire revealed the diagnosis in a meeting with reporters Tuesday, saying it was the only time he would talk publicly about the subject this spring.
Gardenhire said he received the diagnosis about a week ago after tests in Minnesota and would undergo surgery to remove the prostate gland, probably the second week in April.
He said doctors believe they caught the cancer early and there was no sign of the disease when he took his annual physical exam in January of last year.
Gardenhire approaches the challenge with good humor.
“Now it’s about getting the thing taken out,” he said. “As I told the players and everybody, I’m trying to lose weight. I’m going to lose a five-pound prostate and that’s good.”
But it’s not that Gardenhire isn’t taking this seriously.
“As I’ve done everything in my life, we’ve attacked,” he said, “and I’m going to attack this. We’re going to challenge this and beat it.”
Gardenhire noted the illness was caught early because baseball requires physicals every year.
“We are very fortunate in baseball that we have people looking out for us,” he said, “because we know there are a lot of people who don’t get physicals like they should and are not able to. We are very fortunate in baseball. Like I told my doctor, I tip my hat to you. They found this.”
Gardenhire managed the Twins for 13 seasons, winning six division titles, before being fired after the 2014 season.
He was special assistant to Twins GM Terry Ryan last year before being hired as the top assistant to new Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo.
Around the horn
Cardinals pitcher Alex Reyes did not throw his bullpen session Tuesday because of a sore right elbow and will have an MRI. Reports suggest he needs Tommy John surgery, but will seek a second opinion. Reyes, a 22-year-old right-hander, made his major-league debut Aug. 9 and was 4-1 with a 1.57 ERA in five starts and seven relief outings.
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