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Phillies coach has cancer

When first-base coach Marc Bombard recently discovered a sore on his face, he thought he was allergic to something.

He was shocked when a biopsy revealed basal cell cancer.

It was the second time in the past few years Bombard, 56, had developed a common and easily curable form of skin cancer.

"It hurt like hell when the doctor stuck a needle in there to get it," said Bombard, who has lived in Tampa for 30 years. "I started crying. I said, "If you're going to make me cry, put an onion in front of me the next time.' "

Bombard's previous skin cancer was on his left forearm. He also had cancer cells removed from his cheeks and had a problem near his sideburns.

"I'm a mess," he said, only half joking.

Bombard figures it could have been avoided had he protected himself better.

"You gotta be careful, which I wasn't when I was growing up," Bombard said. "A lot of kids don't even think about getting too dark. You've got to use sunscreen."

ROTATION SET: Newcomer Ryan Franklin is scheduled to start the opener Thursday at the Yankees. Jon Lieber, the team's probable opening day starter, is scheduled to make his spring debut Friday against the Yankees.

PHIL-INS: Chase Utley will join the U.S. World Baseball Classic team after the Grapefruit League opener. Cole Hamels is scheduled to throw off the mound for the first time this spring today.

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