The baseball world was hit with some bad news on Friday when Red Sox manager John Farrell announced he has lymphoma.
One person who took the news of Farrell’s diagnosis the hardest was White Sox manager and Farrell's good friend Robin Ventura.
“You're shocked,” Ventura said. “I've known John a long time. Anytime you hear that news it's always shocking. You feel for him.
“He's always done a great job wherever he's been, but it does affect you a little bit, of looking at perspective of the people you deal with every day and your guys in here, you know, real life stuff.”
Farrell and Ventura both graduated from Oklahoma State just a few years apart from each other (Farrell left in 1984 after being drafted by the Cleveland Indians while Ventura departed when he was drafted by the White Sox in 1988). Both were stars in college and became close through their OSU connection.
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Recently, the entire White Sox team underwent routine tests for skin cancer. A couple suspicious spots were found on Ventura’s face and were taken care of by the medical staff, as the small band aids on his face showed before Saturday's game. Ventura was thankful that the staff takes that extra step to keep the players and coaches safe.
“You know, we always get it done in spring training and then once during the year,” Ventura said. “You're always protective of putting sunscreen on and everything else, but when you're a kid you probably didn't put it on as much as you should. Any time we do it and they see something, I'm always, 'Go ahead and take care of it,' right when you do."
The small bit of good news from Farrell’s diagnosis was that the cancer is stage 1 and highly curable. Doctors found the cancer when the Red Sox manager went in for hernia surgery, something that turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
“You feel real fortunate and lucky that they found it when they did,” Ventura said.