BERNIE’S BASEBALL WORLD: GET ON DAD’S (And Your Own) CASE

I’m not a father.  I think that would have been great, but I’m not a father.  I get to live vicariously through the lives of other dads.

Today is a special day.  Today is the day to honor your dad.  He deserves it.  He tries his best to provide for his family each and every day.  It may not always be easy.  But dads try hard. Maybe you’re a dad yourself.

In some homes, both mom and dad work to make ends meet. In some homes, mom raises the kids by herself. In other homes, dad has that same role as a single parent.

This is the day to do something very special for your dad.

It won’t cost a dime, but it could save his life.

Today is the day to ask dad to make sure he gets a prostate exam.

We don’t talk much about prostate cancer.

In the United States it is estimated about 160,360 new cases of prostate cancer will be discovered in 2017

In the United States 26,730 are estimated to die of prostate cancer in 2017

In Canada, 21,600 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2016.

In Canada, it is estimated 4,000 men died from prostate cancer in 2016.

Approximately one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime.

As you or your dad advance beyond the age 40, chances of getting prostate cancer increase.  Beyond 60, the chances really, really increase.

Now is the time to talk with your dad about starting a yearly commitment of being checked for prostate cancer.  In most cases, a simple blood test begins the process.  If you’re a vibrant male reader of this article enjoying life, it’s time for you to get checked, too.  Yes, even if you’re not a dad.

My family doctor saved my life.

My doctor didn’t like the fact my prostate-specific-antigen (PSA) blood test results had increased a tad since my previous test six months prior.  He is one of the doctors in Phoenix for the Angels and Athletics.

My doctor told me to go through spring training and then come back and see him.  I did.  When the PSA test showed another slight increase he sent me to the urologist for a biopsy.

On January 2, 2015 I heard these words from the urologist.  “Bernie, you have prostate cancer.”  “What? Me? I don’t feel a thing.”  “You won’t.  It’s a silent disease.”

I don’t want to get into the details because I encountered a blood clot and an infection that put me out of action for more than six months.

I had intensive radiology treatment every weekday for nine weeks.  It was an amazing ordeal, but I am here to write to you about it.

My last 3 PSA blood tests have been fantastic and I am now in remission.

Men often tune out and don’t pay attention when the topic of prostate cancer is broached on television or at the ballpark.  I guarantee you, however, that dad will tune in when you, his son or daughter ask him to get a prostate exam.

If you think he is still too young to have the exam, just remind him to ask his doctor about prostate cancer.  His doctor can take it from there and determine if and when the PSA test makes sense.

Every now and again I have to step back from my work in and around baseball and reflect upon the ordeal I went through regarding my prostate cancer.  I will always be grateful and thankful for the knowledge and care of the great physician and treatment team that helped rid me of a dreaded disease and a nasty, hard to identify infection.

I never thought I would suffer from prostate cancer.  Yes, I had heard about it, but it likely wouldn’t happen to me.  We had no history of the disease in my family.  Until now.

So as Father’s Day is upon us, my message is simple. Every male must take the threat of prostate cancer seriously.

To that end, every son or daughter can give the greatest gift to dad.  Every dad can give the greatest gift to himself.  Get a prostate cancer checkup. Soon.

Mike Trout

Photo Credit: Ryan Morris

BUNTS:

Which player is better right now, Aaron Judge or Mike Trout?  What a great debate.  What do you like better, chocolate or vanilla ice cream?  I love them both.  Both Trout and Judge are so great it becomes very difficult to choose between the two. Trout has done it longer. He’s hurt now.  But he’s bound and determined to come back quicker than we thought. Judge is on fire in every aspect of his game.  Trout was off to a fantastic start before he hurt his thumb sliding into second trying to steal a base.  And Judge has more talent around him than Trout, so he may get more RBI and scoring chances.  But Trout does his magic pretty much by himself with little in the way of lineup protection.

For me, they are both amazing and I can’t really choose between them.

What a time to be watching baseball.  Nolan Arenado.  Bryce Harper. Clayton Kershaw. Chris Sale.  Judge and Trout. The list of mega stars bigger than life just grows larger every day.

I can’t wait to see Japanese star Shohei Ohtani when he plays major-league baseball.  Will he pitch and serve as a DH and/or left fielder?  Why not? Babe Ruth did it.  That was a long time ago, true, but Ohtani is said to have those skills.  I would think in fantasy leagues, owners would have to draft or select Ohtani as a hitter and separately as a pitcher in drafts and auctions as if he were two players.  That’s if his MLB team allows him to be a two-way player.  I think the team will.  Who will be that team?

I will be in New York next week for the SABR conference.

I love New York. I wish I could spend more time there.

Follow me on Twitter @BerniePleskoff

Bernie Pleskoff

 

About The Author

Bernie Pleskoff is a former professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. Bernie's work has been featured on MLB Pipeline, MLB.com and FanRag Sports, among others. In addition to his BERNIE'S BASEBALL WORLD column, he's a scout/analyst for FanRag Sports.com. You can follow Bernie Pleskoff on Twitter @BerniePleskoff