BAYLOR HAS CANCER
Mets bench coach, Don Baylor has been diagnosed with cancer in his bone marrow and with begin taking chemotherapy next week.
“I know what I have to do and I plan to do it,” Baylor said Thursday. “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 Monday — when 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 percent,” Dr. John Olichney said about the possibility of complete remission. “The problem is that there are recurrences.”
This is the same kind of cancer that Mel Stottlemyre battled three years ago.
Stottlemyre returned to the team the next spring and still is the Yankees' pitching coach. Baylor has talked with Stottlemyre about his experiences.
“My family will give me comfort but I have to do this alone,” Baylor said.
…The cancer was detected as a result of spring training physical last month and an examination determined 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.
Baylor told the team Thursday. Olichney agreed that the chemotherapy wouldn’t hinder the former Cubs and Colorado manager at the start of treatment but said it might cause him to miss some road games as the therapy progresses.