Darren Daulton diagnosed with brain cancer

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Darren Daulton diagnosed with brain cancer

Former Phillie Darren Daulton has been diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.

The news comes just over a week after Daulton had surgery to remove two tumors in his brain.

"It saddens me, but I'll remain optimistic," Phillies GM Ruben Amaro said prior to Wednesday's game against the Nationals. "I guess he's in Florida now, hoping and praying that things go well for him. I know he's probably got a tough road ahead of him, but I hope it goes well."

Daulton, who had been hosting a radio show on 97.5 FM The Fanatic, has returned to Clearwater, Fla., to recuperate and will eventually begin treatments in Florida.

"Darren and his family wish to thank everyone for their loving support throughout this difficult time," read a statement from the Darren Daulton Foundation. "He is deeply touched. In typical fashion, he again said, 'Right on; Fight on.' Darren and his family request that everyone respect his privacy and that of his family during this period of time. At his urging, I can report that the September 9, 2013, golf tournament that benefits the Foundation will continue as planned."

The catcher, who spent 14 seasons with the Phillies, underwent surgery on July 2 at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Though doctors said the surgery "went well," they did not specify whether all the malignant cells in Daulton's brain had been removed.

Dr. Donald O’Rourke, a neurosurgeon in the University of Pennsylvania Health System, said (video above) that part of the tumor's severity is its origin in the brain.

"Glioblastoma is a very difficult, challenging tumor that starts in the brain. So it's not a tumor that started elsewhere in the body and traveled to the brain. It's something that actually started in the brain," O'Rourke said. "So if you can imagine a tumor growing within the brain, it's going to be integrated with normal tissue. So one of the challenges as a surgeon is to be able to remove the tumor while respecting the normal tissue."

O'Rourke also said Daulton's doctors should treat the tumor "aggressively" based on Daulton's current health along with the strong possibility of experimental courses of action.

"In a healthy person like [Daulton] who's in the prime of their lives, the only way to treat this tumor is to be aggressive. That's aggressive surgically and and it's aggressive with every other aspect of care," O'Rourke said. "The care will be a standard radiation regimen, which will be daily for five to six weeks. There will be an oral chemotherapy pill associated with that.

"And then we would recommend, and I assume his caretakers will also recommend, is potentially doing something experimental in addition to that. That's sort of where the hope and the promise of the future holds, with some of the experimental treatments."

Phillies-Marlins rained out Tuesday; makeup date to be determined

Phillies-Marlins rained out Tuesday; makeup date to be determined

Tuesday night's Phillies-Marlins game at Citizens Bank Park has been postponed because of rain.

Details for a makeup date will be announced at a later time.

The Phillies, winnners of four straight, were set to open a three-game set against Miami.

Following this series, the Phillies head out on a seven-game road trip starting Friday night against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

Vince Velasquez, who was scheduled to pitch Tuesday, will now start Wednesday night's game, while Jeremy Hellickson will take the mound Thursday afternoon.

Vince Papale to Brock Stassi: 'We call that the last laugh'

Vince Papale to Brock Stassi: 'We call that the last laugh'

Former Eagle Vince Papale, the inspiration for the movie "Invincible," paid a visit to Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday afternoon to meet Phillies outfielder Brock Stassi. Papale wanted to give him a copy of the film "Invincible" -- a movie Stassi has yet to see -- and talk to another Philadelphia athlete who has played the underdog role.

Papale said he couldn't help but get choked up when he first saw the video of Stassi being interviewed after he made the Phillies' roster (watch above).

"Brock's story came on and I started doing one of these," Papale said as he reached to wipe the fake tears from his eyes. "So I got my wife Janet and I said, 'You gotta come in and see this.' And I texted my son Vince down at Delaware and said, 'You see this guy? He's just like us.'

"I contacted (Phillies publicity director) John (Brazer) and texted him right then and said I wanted the film rights for this."

Stassi, a long shot to make the Phillies' roster, was the feel-good story of the spring. The six-year minor leaguer had a spring training to remember, hitting .306 (19 for 62) with six home runs and 17 RBIs.  

As always, when an underdog makes an impact in Philadelphia, there will be association to past Philly underdogs like Papale or legendary movie character Rocky Balboa.

"I did get a few ["Invincible" references on Twitter]," Stassi said of when he made the team. "A lot of people made that reference and I am honored to even be put in the same category as him."

Papale assumed the role of a reporter and posed a question to Stassi: "What kept you going?"

"Ever since I was drafted, I've believed in myself that I would be here one day," Stassi said. "And after my first spring, I was in extended spring training and that's a place you don't want to be when you are 22 years old at the time. And I ended up learning a lot about myself because you're playing on the back fields in spring training in the middle of the day, in Florida, in front of about five people, so it's really self-motivating.

"And that's kind of where I started to get the hang of pro ball and started believing in myself then. Because my first year was rough. My first year in Williamsport, had a terrible year. But, it ended up working out. It made for a lot of doubters. And it's fun proving people wrong."

Papale smiled and assured Stassi: "We call that the last laugh."