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Ron Gardenhire diagnosed with prostate cancer

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Some bad news from Arizona. The Diamondbacks just announced that bench coach Ron Gardenhire has prostate cancer. He will have surgery to remove his prostate at a date yet to be determined and will take a leave of absence from the team at that time.

“I’m going to fight it and deal with it,” Gardenhire said. “It’s a bump in the road and it’s not how I envisioned starting Spring Training with a brand new team but it’s part of life. With the backing of this ball club, we’ll get through it and I’ll get through it.”

Gardenhire, 59, is entering his first season with the Dbacks. He spent 13 seasons as manager of the Minnesota Twins, making 6 postseason appearances and winning the AL Manager of the Year Award in 2010. Before that he spent 11 seasons as the Twins’ third base coach.

“We are a family,” said Diamondbacks Manager Torey Lovullo. “As a family, there’s a series of tests that are going to come upon us and this is a big one, but we’re going to come together and help Gardy through this to the best of our ability. We’re not going to miss a step because we’re committed to him.” Diamondbacks President & CEO Derrick Hall said, “The entire organization stands behind Ron and we are here to support him through this challenging time. He certainly knows that there are resources throughout the franchise that he can turn to and of course, we will do everything we can to assist him.”

Best wishes to Gardenhire for a successful surgery and a quick recovery.

 

Rockies sign 30-year lease to stay in Coors Field

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Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.

As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.

Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”

The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.

Ichiro wants to play until he’s 50

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Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki is entering his 25th season as a professional baseball player and his 17th in the major leagues. The 43-year-old is potentially under contract through the 2018 season if the Marlins choose to pick up his club option.

Few players are able to continue their careers into their mid-40’s. No surprise, Suzuki is the oldest position player in baseball. Only Braves pitcher Bartolo Colon, is older, and only by 51 days. Suzuki, however, wants to play until he’s 50 years old, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports.

“I’m not joking when I say it,” Suzuki said. He continued, “Nobody knows what the future holds. But the way I feel, how I’m thinking, I feel like nothing can stop me from doing it. When you retire from baseball, you have until the day you die to rest.”

When asked about what will happen when Suzuki finally does decide to retire, Suzuki responded, “I think I’ll just die.”

Last season, Suzuki showed he still has plenty left in the tank. He hit .291/.354/.376 with 21 extra-base hits, 48 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 365 plate appearances. If the Marlins’ outfielders stay healthy, Suzuki won’t be starting many games in 2017. He started in right field frequently during the second half last year, filling in for the injured Giancarlo Stanton.