Saturday: Thinking positive thoughts for Belliard

I pulled into Joker Marchant Stadium this morning planning on writing about Bruce Rondon’s first outing of the spring. I spent most of the afternoon thinking about how coach Rafael Belliard traveling on the Tigers winter caravan last month just days after being diagnosed with prostate cancer, and days before he was scheduled for surgery to remove two tumors.

You won’t find a nicer guy on the team than Rafael Belliard. You won’t find anything but a smile on his face when he goes out to the field. And you won’t find a harder worker. You just won’t find him talked about very often because infield coaches don’t get much attention.

When Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder were fielding ground balls early in the morning last spring, Belliard was the one feeding the ground balls to them every day. When Brandon Inge and Ryan Raburn were trying to move to second base last year, that was Belliard’s task. When Jhonny Peralta needed work at shortstop, Belliard was the man.

When Peralta was getting extra work at shortstop in workouts last week, Belliard was the one working with him. Never mind that he couldn’t hit fungoes because he had just had surgery a couple weeks earlier.

When Belliard was diagnosed with prostate cancer in mid-January, he was thinking about his job when he tried to schedule surgery as soon as possible (he had it 13 days later). He also wanted to get it over with. When doctors realized from the tumors how aggressive the cancer was, it might have been a life-saving decision.

Baseball is a sport with good guys, and they don’t come better than Belliard. When spring training turns to midseason and you see the message time and again about prostate cancer awareness, about early detection being vital and about the importance of a routine physical exam, think about Rafael Belliard, whose season-ending exam as part of the team led to detection.

Here’s hoping the 95 percent chance of survival he cited becomes 100 percent, and that we see him congratulating Cabrera and Fielder as they round first base on home runs this summer. He’s in the dugout for now, but hopefully not for long.


Oh no…this is the first I’ve heard of it! Hopefully he’ll be fine.

same here. My thoughts are with him!
On a similar note, is Jim Price still doing OK? I know he had some health issues last season.

off topic but interesting: James Schmehl reports “Leyland said six relievers have essentially locked their spot in bullpen. Lobstein among handful of relievers competing for that last spot.”
So that means Coke, Dotel, Beniot, Al Al, Villareal and ….. Rondon! right? So the rest are competing for a long man position? Do you really need a long man at the beginning of the year (conversely, do you need 5 starters the first week – no)?

I’d break camp with marte or downs and use one of the 5 starters to cover long man duties if needed.

They could go with an extra position player if they dont carry a 5th stater for the first two weeks. Like last year.

Mis mejores deseos para Belliard

Watched Belliard working with the infielders two days ago. Had no idea he’d had this going on. He’ll be fine, I’m sure of it.

Jason Heyward hit a ball onto the roof of the batting cage building as a rookie. Prince hit his even further. In the top five most impressive homers I’ve seen at Joker Marchant.
Cabrera hit one nearly to Granada street. Well, not quite, but top of the berm in LC is a long long way.
Victor looks like……….Victor.
Rondon’s inning of work is probably indicative of what we can expect this season. It will be exciting.
Unfortunately, our pro-spects looked like con-spects today for the most part.
Konbernus does have that easy long legged stride that eats up ground quickly.
I didn’t detect much interest in tweets from ST so that won’t be happening. If Kate Upton shows up for JV’s start tomorrow, there will be no pictures…..
Very hot stretch of weather right now but it will cool off considerably by next weekend. Enough that I changed my beach and travel plans.

Read about Mr. Belliard earlier today. The treatment is very good now, so I’m hoping he’ll be just fine. Now, there’s a man with true dedication.

Today’s game is being broadcast starting at midnight. Got my DVR all set up.

on MLB Network.

I know about prostate cancer. I am a survivor. Best of luck to Mr. Belliard.

JB—-Thank you. Well done.

By the way–I was very impressed with Rondon today but was a little puzzled with the Alex Avila statement: “By far, he’s probably “one of” the best arms I’ve ever seen.”
If it is by far then “probably” or “one of the best” doesn’t quite compute. Alex sounds like he is running for office! C’mon Alex how good is his arm?

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