PHOENIX - Arizona Diamondbacks Bench Coach Ron Gardenhire announced today that he was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. Gardenhire will have surgery to remove his prostate at a date to be determined and will take a leave of absence from the team at that time.
"I'm going to fight it and deal with it," said Gardenhire. "It's a bump in the road and it's not how I envisioned starting Spring Training with a brand new team but it's part of life. With the backing of this ball club, we'll get through it and I'll get through it."
"We are a family," said D-backs Manager Torey Lovullo. "As a family, there's a series of tests that are going to come upon us and this is a big one, but we're going to come together and help Gardy through this to the best of our ability. We are not going to miss a step because we're committed to him."
"The entire organization stands behind Ron and we are here to support him through this challenging time," said D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall. "He certainly knows there are resources throughout the franchise that he can turn to and of course, we will do everything we can to assist him."
"It says a lot about Gardy that his first thought when he told us about his diagnosis was that he didn't want to be a distraction to the team," said D-backs General Manager Mike Hazen. "We are all behind him and of course, our first concern is with getting him healthy and tackling this the way he plans to - head on."
Gardenhire, 59, enters his first season in the D-backs organization and his first as a Major League bench coach. In 13 seasons as manager of the Minnesota Twins, he was the winningest manager in club history (1,608 - 1,039; .507), made 6 postseason appearances and was named the AL Manager of the Year in 2010. He spent 11 seasons (1991-2001) as the Twins' third base coach, including the 1991 championship club.