Mercer has another cancer scare

amd_murcer.jpgThere are few in baseball who are good and genuwine these days. Most will agree one person who fits that bill is Bobby Mercer. The Yankees' broadcaster may have another battle with the brain tumor he encountered last year.

In late December 2006, Mercer was diagnosed with brain cancer after a malignant tumor was found in an MRI. He then underwent six hours of surgery and six weeks of of chemotherapy and radiation to treat the cancer. Now, after a recent MRI, Mercer and his wife were told that there is “area that doctors are concerned about.” Mercer will miss this Sunday's game in which he was scheduled to broadcast for the YES Network. It is possible he will miss more games for treatment.
“I’ve gotta go back to Houston on Monday for more tests, which means I’m going to have to miss the first two spring training games,” Murcer said. “I still hope to be in Tampa in time for the third game (on March 7) and I’m still planning on doing my full schedule of games for the regular season.”

Mercer is a fan favorite and one of mine as well. It's sad to see Bobby have to endure another scare like this, let's hope it's not for the worse. Mercer's play by play and color analysts is still among the best in the game. I, for one enjoy our V.I.P pass for Old Timer's Day that Mercer gives us while playing and interacting with fellow legends. His uncanny knack for knowledge of the game and Yankee history is what makes any Yankee game Bobby does enjoyable. Hopefully this is only a minor setback and Mercer will be back in the booth in a short time. Until then, good luck Bobby.

Frank's articles can also be found at HotStoveNewYork
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Hughes impressive in BP session/Pettitte throws

A few news and notes from Yankees camp today....

Andy Pettitte threw another BP session while also working on a slidestep. Pettitte who is known for having one of the best pickoff moves in the league is trying to further aggrivate baserunners. He feels as if his pickoff move is good enough for runners on first base but needs a move to combat runners on second base from stealing thrid base. The slidestep should help.
“I have to figure out some way to keep them from doing that,” he said.

hughes-spring.JPGIn the big news of the day, Phil Hughes also threw BP and looked very impressive. He faced Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter, Bobby Abreu and Francisco Cervelli. His curveball seemed to be in mid-season form. A positive pitching session for the future of the franchise. Not one of the four hitters Hughes faced made good contact. Hughes was bothered by his hamstring injury last season when he returned to the rotation. This was apparent when Hughes pitched and his velocity suffered as a result. He has been working with Pettitte six days a week. No question this should help Hughes avoid future leg problems.

Take today's sessions as a positive step for both men. Spring Training games begin Friday for the Yankees. If today's sessions are a sign of things to come then it's got to put a smile on your face if you're a Yankee fan. Still early in the spring, but baseball's here and that's good news for everyone.

Frank's articles can also be found at HotStoveNewYork.com
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Questions still loom around Kidd trade

kidd-trade.JPGJason Kidd is still a Net and will be in tomorrow night's NBA All-Star Game representing New Jersey. It appears Kidd will be heading back to the Medowlands after the game instead of going to Dallas.

The proposed trade of Kidd, Antoine Wright, and Malik Allen to Dallas for Devin Harris, DeSagana Diop, Jerry Stackhouse, Devean George, D-League guard Maurice Ager, two future first-round draft picks and $3 million is still on hold. The reason is due to George invoking his no-trade clause thus blocking the trade from going through. Both teams are trying to work out an alternative deal in the event George stands his ground.

Via NY Daily News:
"If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen," Nets president Rod Thorn said yesterday in New Orleans, where he was attending All-Star Game festivities. "Everyone expected to get this done. I don't know what's going to happen here. This is totally unexpected."

"In life when you make decisions you can't make everybody happy," Kidd said yesterday. "That's just the way it goes."


In addition to George holding up the deal, Stackhouse was quoted saying "I get 30 days to rest, then I'll be right back. I ain't going nowhere." That's a big no-no. It hints at an under-the-table agreement between Stackhouse and the Mavs. According to NBA regulations once a player is traded, he must wait at least 30 days to sign with his former team once the team he was traded to buys out his contract. Both sides have until Thursday's 3pm trade deadline to work out a deal. One would think a deal can be worked out by then, if not Kidd returns to Jersey.

I wonder how Kidd would feel if he stays with the Nets through the remainder of the season. You requested a trade, ownership gave it to you and you packed your bags for new surroundings. Surroundings that appeared prime for a run at the NBA championship and now you're back with a sub .500 team. How are the fans going to react? How are the teammates you left behind going to react? Very compelling questions going into All-Star weekend. We will get our answers in the days to come. For now Jason Kidd is a Net...and that's just fine with me.

Frank's articles can be found at OnTheBlockNY and HotStoveNewYork.com
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Wang loses arbitration case

wang2.JPGThe Yankees and Chien-Ming Wang have settled their arbitration case. The Yankees will pay Wang $4 million instead of the $4.6 million he was asking for.

Wang and his side brought up the fact that he won 19 games over the past two seasons and established himself as the staff ace. The Yankees fought back and said that his consistentcy was helped by the hitting and defense. Another key issue that leaned the judge in favor of New York's side was Wang's 19.06 ERA in the two postseason starts against Cleveland last October.
"I think Chien-Ming is too smart for (hard feelings)," Alan Nero, Wang's agentsaid. "He understands it's business."

I'll move on from this," Wang told Taiwanese reporters. "It's a new season. I'm excited about that. Overall, it was a learning experience."


So now that was a hearing worth television time! Let's get to playing baseball shall we? I'm ready for it.


(Frank's articles can also be found at OnTheBlockNY.blogspot.com)
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Pavano starts rehab..hopeful for '08 return

Pitchers and catchers are due to report to Tampa on Thursday for the beginning of Spring Training. Yesterday, one Yankee tried to get an early start on the 2008 season , his name...Carl Pavano.

pavano2.JPGI'm sure most of us forgot he was STILL apart of the team. He is entering the final year of his four-year, $39.95 million contract that he signed back in 2003. Pavano, has been sidelined with injuries for the majority of his Yankees tenure. He last pitched for the Yanks last April in Minnesota and recorded the win. Since then he has been out of the rotation. If you remember Pavano was the opening day starter in 2007. (That's a mind boggling fact.) This latest rehab is stemming from Pavano's Tommy John surgery he underwent on his elbow back in June.

"Sometime this summer, that's the best-case scenario for him to be competitively pitching," GM Brian Cashman said. "Whether that's rehab games or more, we'll see."

Pavano had a 12 minute throwing session in front of Yankees Vice President Billy Connors and new pitching coach Dave Eiland.

"He feels great," Eiland said. "The ball came out of his hand well."

Pavano is 5-6 in 19 starts with the Yankees. He will be a free agent at the end of the year, and logic tells you he will be finding a new home, but as I always say, stranger things have happened. If all goes well for Pavano with his rehab and the progression of his injury, it's very possible that Carl could be helping the Yanks down the strecth and hopefully in October. Before we get ahead of ourselves lets get back to reality...Pavano just played catch for a few mins and we should take it as nothing more. If the Yankees get anything out of him, consider it a miracle.

(Frank's articles can also be read at OnTheBlockNY )
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New York Giants 2008 World Champions!

Congratulations to the 2008 World Champions New York Giants

eli_champion.jpg
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