Diamondbacks bench coach Ron Gardenhire is slated to undergo surgery for prostate cancer next Tuesday, as Bob Nightengale of USA Today writes in an update on the former Twins skipper. As Nightengale writes, the bad news came at a particularly disappointing time for Gardenhire, given that he was returning from a layoff after leaving Minnesota. But he’s tackling the condition with typical form, as Nightengale writes. “Cancer is a big word, you know, but it’s been pretty special having so many people reach out,” says Gardenhire, who adds that he “can’t wait to sit in that dugout again.”
Here’s more from around the game:
- ESPN.com’s Andrew Marchand penned an interesting profile of Yankees assistant GM Jean Afterman, who is currently the only woman holding that position leaguewide. Afterman has a fascinating and varied background; she ultimately became a lawyer and later helped pioneer the movement of players from Japan to the majors. While Yankees GM credits her as a “pit bull” who could easily hold a position as his peer, she says she prefers to remain with the organization as an adviser. It’s a fun look at an interesting person that also tackles the ongoing question of whether the game can do more to grow the involvement of women in upper management.
- In another profile, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com takes a look at controversial Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria as he reportedly prepares to sell his franchise. Crasnick examines some of the differing angles on Loria, focusing on his relationship with the tragically departed Jose Fernandez. Loria also defends his place in the game and discusses the possibility of taking an ambassadorship to France in a sit-down with Crasnick, which you’ll want to read for yourself.
- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado chatted with Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, who calls the star performer “one of the game’s most inquisitive superstars — if not the most inquisitive.” As he looks to build upon his standing as one of the game’s better all-around players, Arenado is described as constantly seeking to improve by interview subjects such as agent Joel Wolfe, former skipper Walt Weiss, and a variety of veteran players. Soon to turn 26, Arenado has compiled back-to-back forty-plus home run seasons, and also significantly boosted his walk rate last year while continuing to provide high-quality defensive work at third. Of course, his park-adjusted batting production suggests he has been more a very good than a great hitter to this point in his career, though he has improved at the plate in every season in the majors and could perhaps continue to do so if he can expand upon that growth in the plate-discipline department.