Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Phillies' great Mike Schmidt battles cancer

CLEARWATER — Mike Schmidt sat down at a picnic table beyond the leftfield wall on a sunny morning at Bright House Field, then scooted over to seek the shade of some palm trees and a light tower.

He wasn't taking any chances.

The Hall of Famer is recovering from an advanced form of skin cancer that kept him from being a guest instructor with the Phillies in spring training.

Schmidt, 64, was in camp Sunday and publicly spoke for the first time about his illness — stage 3 melanoma — and the two operations, radiation and chemotherapy treatments that followed.

"I feel fantastic right now," he said.

Looking fit and trim, the three-time NL MVP is scheduled for a scan today to see how far his recovery has progressed. He still plans to join the Phillies' television crew to work 13 home Sunday games this season, and to return to camp next year to work with hitters.

"I'm a very lucky man," he said.

Schmidt felt most fortunate that he got a "crusty little thing" on his hand checked out in August. A dermatologist decided to give him a full examination and found a mole on his back.

A biopsy revealed the melanoma was more serious than stage 1, and Schmidt spent the following months shuttling between Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and his home in Jupiter.

"I've done just about everything I can to destroy the cancer cells in my body," he said.

Yanks: Ellsbury ailing

TAMPA — Yankees CF Jacoby Ellsbury was scratched from the starting lineup against the Braves because of slight tightness in his right calf.

Coach Rob Thomson, managing a New York split squad, said the move was precautionary and the outfielder would have played if this were the regular season. Ellsbury will also sit out today against the Pirates in Bradenton.

TANAKA STRONG: Japanese RHP Masahiro Tanaka allowed one run and three hits over 41/3 innings in New York's 7-4 win. He struck out six and walked two.

IN PANAMA: LHP CC Sabathia pitched five hitless innings in a 7-0 win over the Marlins, a day after the Yankees were no-hit in baseball's return to Mariano Rivera's home country. Miami won 5-0 in the first game here to honor Rivera, baseball's career saves leader.

Jays: Praising Happ

DUNEDIN — Blue Jays manager John Gibbons gave LHP J.A. Happ a vote of confidence, describing himself as "a big Happ fan" and indicating that he had an inside track on a rotation job.

Happ had a sore back early in camp and pitched poorly in his first two outings, but he bounced back with three solid innings in a minor-league start Friday. His 2013 season was interrupted when he was hit in the head by a line drive at Tropicana Field.

"I think he's going to have a heck of a year for us," Gibbons told mlb.com. "All indications the other day, his back's fine, he threw very well and that was a big question. Now, if his back flares up, it might be a different story."

Blue Jays

Games: Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin

Tickets: (727) 733-0429; bluejays.com

Today: off

Phillies

Games: Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater

Tickets: (727) 467-4457; phillies.com

Today: vs. Orioles (ss), 1:05

Yankees

Games: Steinbrenner Field, 1 Steinbrenner Drive (corner of Martin Luther King Jr. and Dale Mabry), Tampa

Tickets: (813) 879-2244; yankees.com

Today: at Pirates, 1:05, Bradenton

Phillies' great Mike Schmidt battles cancer 03/16/14 [Last modified: Sunday, March 16, 2014 7:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. History shows Ole Miss upheaval tough to overcome

    College

    After Mississippi football coach Hugh Freeze resigned Thursday, with the opener six weeks away, offensive line coach Matt Luke is being thrown into an interim head coaching position. He will try to save a season that already had been scarred by a self-imposed bowl ban for NCAA violations.

    After coach Jim Tressel resigned, Ohio State went 6-7, including a loss to Florida in the Gator Bowl, in 2011.
  2. Bucs add top executive from MLS to business side

    Blogs

    The Bucs have hired a top executive from Major League Soccer to their business operations in Atul "AK" Khosla, who has spent the last six years as chief operating officer of Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire.

    Atul Khosla, 38, spent the last six years as chief operating officer of MLS' Chicago Fire. He joins the Bucs as their new chief corporate development and brand officer.
  3. Minors also a training ground for umpires with big-league dreams

    The Heater

    Umpire Tom Fornarola, 23, left, and Taylor Payne, 24, facing, talk before the start of the Gulf Coast League game between the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers at the Tigertown complex in Lakeland, Fla. on Wednesday, July 5, 2017.
  4. For starters: Souza not in lineup vs. Rangers

    Blogs

     

  5. Remember that famous Fred McGriff TV commercial? He's back, in a parody

    Blogs

    If you've ever seen Fred McGriff's TV commerical for Tom Emanski's Defensive Drills video it will always be fresh in your mind, with the deadpan delivery and famously ill-fitting cap.

    Fred McGriff in his new commercial for Chassis, a men's grooming line, that looks a lot like his old one.