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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

AL Pitcher Prepares for Fight of Life

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cleveland Indians reliever Matt Turner could use a little moral support from Mario Lemieux and Scott Radinsky right about now. "They could give me a call and help me out, let me know what to expect, what I'm looking forward to here. That'd be all right," Turner said Tuesday in his first meeting with reporters since he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease last week. Turner, a relief pitcher acquired by the Cleveland Indians from the Florida Marlins late in spring training, is facing six to eight months of chemotherapy for the disease, a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system. Lemieux was able to return from Hodgkin's and resume his NHL career with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Radinsky, a reliever with the Chicago White Sox, has been undergoing treatment for the disease since a malignant lymph node was removed from his neck in February. Turner said he has every intention of pitching for the Indians again. "My goal is to pitch for the Cleveland Indians during the 1995 season and to demonstrate to my teammates, the organization and the fans what a healthy Matt Turner can do," he said. Turner began the season with Cleveland but was demoted to Class AAA Charlotte on May 3 after he let 11 of 12 inherited runners score. It was at Charlotte that he noticed a golf-ball-sized swelling in the groin area -- a recurrence of a problem he had first encountered over the winter. The Indians immediately flew him back to Cleveland, where tests revealed the severity of the problem. Turner is having further tests to determine whether the condition has spread. "Ten to 20 years ago, people died of this disease," team physician William Wilder said. "Now, with advances in chemotherapy, we can tell Matt that he's going to get over it." n Like so many big-league batters this season, scientists recently crushed the baseball. They also weighed it, dropped it from the top of a stepladder and dunked it in a bucket of water. In a year when balls seem to be traveling farther than ever, a few were sent to new lengths -- to a laboratory at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. There, a team of scientists accepted a request to plan and perform experiments that could answer some hard-hitting questions. Everyone has been wondering what's going on. Can it be something in the baseballs that makes them keep flying out? Nearly two months into the season, it still is a running theme. For nearly two hours, the scientists tested, observed and measured three 1993 official National League baseballs, and three 1994 balls supplied -- in the interest of science -- by the New York Mets. The balls generally weighed the same, bounced the same and withstood the same squeezing. No juice. In fact, maybe the question should have been: Is the ball too dry? In one experiment, last year's ball soaked up a lot more water (52.9 grams), which could be a clue to something bigger. Something that a scientist born in England and educated at Oxford could surmise. "Certainly, the old ball is more conducive to a good, old-fashioned spitball," said professor Alexander King. (AP, Newsday)