The Newberg Report: February 19

You never expect a professional ballclub to take lightly the job it has to do.  The stakes aren’t as high in training camp as they are in the post-season, but the mission is just as important.  On a team like the Rangers, led by the resolve of Michael Young and Mark Teixeira and the intensity of Buck Showalter, you don’t worry about how hard they will work or how prepared they will be or how equipped they will be to deal with adversity.

As a fan, when you hear the news, after pitchers and catchers have reported but before the full squad’s first workout, that Angela Showalter just had a mass removed from her breast and that Rudy Jaramillo has prostate cancer, you don’t even give a moment’s thought to what sort of impact it could have on the ballclub.  It’s a credit to the team that this is about Rudy and Angela, and only about Rudy and Angela.

If anything, it might make the club even more focused.

Angela’s biopsy, happily, was negative.  Rudy will have surgery in a month and plans to be back in uniform by time Texas takes the field on April 3 against Boston.  Nobody doubts that he’ll do it.

Like Jim Reeves wrote in Saturday’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram: "When Rudy, one of the most respected hitting instructors in the game, told me Friday that he has prostate cancer, naturally I felt bad.

"For the cancer."

Rudy and Angela are both tough, and smart.  There’s no honor in letting a feeling of invincibility stand in the way of getting checked.  Fear is no excuse, either.

Angela and Buck don’t need my thoughts and prayers, and neither do Rudy and Shelley. But they’ve got them.

Jamey Newberg is a contributor to  This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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