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Baylor Has Cancer in His Bone Marrow

From Associated Press

Bench coach Don Baylor of the New York Mets has been diagnosed with cancer in his bone marrow but hopes the chemotherapy treatments won’t cause him to sit out any games.

“I know what I have to do and I plan to do it,” Baylor said Thursday in Port St. Lucie, Fla. “It’s a good time to get it done and get it behind me. It’s treatable, so why not treat it now?”

Baylor, 53, will undergo four days of oral and intravenous chemotherapy beginning Tuesday -- the day after the Mets open the season against Baylor’s former team, the Chicago Cubs -- to treat the multiple myeloma. The treatment will be repeated once every 28 to 36 days as initial therapy.

“There’s a fairly high upfront success rate, somewhere in the vicinity of 60-70%,” Dr. John Olichney, a consulting physician for the club, said about the possibility of complete remission. “The problem is that there are recurrences.”

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New York Yankee pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre was diagnosed with the same type of cancer in April 2000. Stottlemyre underwent stem cell replacement and missed the final three weeks of the regular season and the postseason.

Doctors will use Baylor’s stem cells for his treatment.

The cancer was detected as a result of a spring training physical last month and an examination determined that Baylor had an abnormal monoclonal protein. He underwent bone marrow tests in New York on March 12, and the tests determined he had an overgrowth of abnormal white blood cells in the marrow.

Olichney agreed that the chemotherapy wouldn’t hinder Baylor at the start of treatment but said it might cause him to skip some road games as the therapy progresses.

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Outfielders Brady Anderson and Roberto Kelly failed to make the San Diego Padres as nonroster invitees.

Kelly, 38, asked for and was granted his release as the Padres broke camp in Peoria, Ariz. Anderson, 39, accepted an assignment to triple-A Portland of the Pacific Coast League.

The Padres decided to carry only five outfielders, including Shane Victorino, a Rule 5 selection who must remain on the roster all season or be offered back to the Dodgers.

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The Padres invited several veterans to spring training, including Kelly, Anderson and pitcher Charles Nagy. But infielder Keith Lockhart was the only one to make the club.

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Highly touted rookie third baseman Mark Teixeira will open the season on the Texas Rangers’ 25-man major league squad.

Teixeira, who has played mainly at first, third and designated hitter during spring training, was the Rangers first-round selection in the 1999 amateur draft -- the fifth pick overall.

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He came into camp as a non-roster invitee and has been impressive with a .333 average in 24 games. He set a club spring record Wednesday with his eighth home run. The old record of seven was held by Ruben Sierra and Pete Incaviglia (1989) and Dean Palmer (1994).

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Right-hander Shane Reynolds was put on waivers by the Houston Astros, who decided to use young pitchers Tim Redding and Jerome Robertson in their starting rotation.

Reynolds, 35, who said he had fully recovered from a season-ending back operation last summer, had been listed as the No. 3 starter. Roy Oswalt, Wade Miller and Brian Moehler will now head the rotation.

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Reynolds is guaranteed $1 million, and could have made an additional $5.75 million if he had reached 220 innings and 32 starts.


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