The Mariners held a team meeting before Saturday’s game so third base coach Jeff Datz could inform the team he has been diagnosed with cancer. Datz will remain with the team as he assesses treatment options. Datz said in a statement the cancer was “caught very early” and that he does not want his future absence to “be a distraction to the team.” Manager Eric Wedge had a direct opinion on the matter. “Like I told him, ‘You’re going to beat it,’ ” Wedge said. “It’s as simple as that. Then, he’ll be back in good shape.” Wedge and Datz began working together in 1998, when each was managing in the minor leagues. Wedge was at Single-A Columbus of the South Atlantic League and Datz won the Triple-A International League title with Buffalo that season. Eventually, they moved up in the Cleveland organization. When Wedge was hired as the Indians’ manager in 2003, Datz was his first base coach. Datz, 53, stayed with Wedge through his time in Cleveland – which ended in 2009 – as third base coach and bench coach. When Wedge was hired by Seattle in 2011, he rehired Datz to be third base coach, work with the catchers and run spring training. Datz is from Camden, N.J., and was drafted by Houston in the 18th round of the 1982 draft. He spent seven seasons in the Astros’ minor league system as a catcher and reached the majors with Detroit in 1989. He played seven games that season.
Mariners third base coach Datz reveals he has cancer
Tacoma News Tribune | Apr 28