Mancini updated all of us in an article in The Players’ Tribune yesterday. He underwent surgery on March 12 to remove a malignant tumor from his colon and confirmed that he’s been undergoing chemotherapy treatments since April 13 that will last for six months.
“If baseball returns in 2020, it will probably be without me,” he wrote.
But Mancini’s return to the field is obviously not the most important thing right now. His long-term health is.
Mancini’s article, with the title “I Am So Lucky,” detailed several different times in his baseball life but it also detailed all the great support he’s gotten since March 12. It detailed how fortunate he was that his cancer was caught at an early stage during blood testing in spring training.
When his health allows, we can now feel confident he’ll continue not only as a great guy, but a great teammate, leader and player for the Orioles. He’ll continue to do some wonderful things in the Baltimore community, no doubt.
“But I want everybody to know that I’m OK,” he wrote. “I know reading everything and seeing that I had a malignant tumor removed from my colon, it’s a lot to absorb - believe me, I know. I’m not really big on social media, but I posted a video on Instagram after my surgery because I wanted people to see that I looked like myself and I was in good spirits.
“And I have no doubt that, even when I’m doing chemo, I can work out and do some things. So, whenever the time comes for me to come back to baseball, I’ll be ready. But I just want to make sure that I am physically fine before I go out there and start trying to perform again at a major league level.
“Don’t get me wrong - I have bad days. I ask, “Why me? Why now?” And that’s when (his girlfriend) Sara’s been really good about kicking me in the rear. But she doesn’t have to do that too often, because I truly know how blessed I really am.”
Check out the video story in the tweet at the bottom of this entry from WBAL-TV in Baltimore. Thirteen-year-old Mo Gaba, who has been through his own physical issues, reached out to Mancini to lend his support.
How about 10-team divisions?: As I wrote yesterday, there seem to be no shortage of plans to get baseball on the field for some semblance of a 2020 season. The latest report of a plan appeared via USA Today story. This one calls for three 10-team divisions where teams only play within that division to limit travel.
For one year, there would be no American League and National League.
“Major League Baseball officials have become cautiously optimistic this week that the season will start in late June, and no later than July 2, playing at least 100 regular-season games, according to three executives with knowledge of the talks. They requested anonymity because the plan is still under consideration,” the report states.
The teams could start playing in one location, such as Arizona or Florida, but the goal would be to get the games to the regular ballparks. No playoff format was provided in the story.
The East would include the New York Yankees and Mets, Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins.
If this plan does get used, each team could play 12 games versus the other nine, six games at home and away, for a total of 108. That is a nice round number which is exactly two-thirds of a regular 162-game season.