Fort Myers, Fla. — Boston pitching coach Tony Cloninger may have bladder cancer.
A doctor found a 2-inch tumor in Cloninger's bladder, and team physician Dr. Bill Morgan said a biopsy was performed Tuesday to determine if the tumor is cancerous. The results will not be available until Friday at the earliest.
"If anybody can defeat this stuff it's Tony," manager Grady Little said Wednesday. "He's tougher than nails and that's why it's going to be so tough to hold him back."
Cloninger, 62, joined the Red Sox during spring training last year after serving as a scout for San Francisco. He spent 15 years with the New York Yankees' organization, where he was bullpen coach to four World Series championship teams, as well as a minor- and major-league pitching coach.
Cloninger pitched a dozen years in the major leagues for Milwaukee, Atlanta, Cincinnati and St. Louis, going 113-97 with a 4.07 ERA.
"Bladder cancer is generally one of the more treatable types of cancer," said Morgan, adding that no other parts of his body appear to have been affected.¢
Schott hospitalized: Former Reds owner Marge Schott was hospitalized Wednesday. The 74-year-old Schott, who still has a minority stake in the team, was suffering from pneumonia when she was admitted to Christ Hospital.¢
Mesa being investigated: Phillies pitcher Jose Mesa is being investigated by the commissioner's office for his threats against Cleveland shortstop Omar Vizquel. Friends as teammates in Cleveland from 1992 to 1998, Mesa and Vizquel have had tense relations since the shortstop criticized Mesa in his autobiography, saying the reliever blew Game 7 of the 1997 World Series.¢
Charlton faces operation: Seattle reliever Norm Charlton needs surgery again and will be sidelined for four-to-six months. The 40-year-old left-hander missed last season after an operation to repair a torn rotator cuff and torn labrum.¢
Cubs waive Orie: Infielder Kevin Orie was placed on waivers for the purpose of his unconditional release by the Chicago Cubs. Orie has a torn right labrum and is scheduled for surgery Friday.¢
Red Sox release pair: Boston released outfielder Benny Agbayani and pitcher Willie Banks Wednesday. Agbayani was hitting .235 this spring. Banks had a 6.00 ERA in six innings this spring.¢
Media mogul makes Expos offer: Robert Johnson wants major league baseball to keep a 49 percent stake in the Montreal Expos if he reaches a deal to buy the team and move it to the Washington area. Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television, said Wednesday he would be interested in owning the team if it is moved to Washington or suburban Northern Virginia.¢
YES, Cablevision reach deal: The YES Network and Cablevision reached an interim deal Wednesday, resolving a year-old dispute that threatened to wipe out another season of New York Yankees' telecasts for millions of viewers. YES has exclusive rights to most Yankees games. The problem was YES' insistence on being carried on basic cable, a request that 35 regional cable companies with five million customers agreed to. Cablevision wanted to make YES a premium network.