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Harwell faces tough days

Former Tigers voice Ernie Harwell has inoperable cancer.  (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Former Tigers voice Ernie Harwell has inoperable cancer. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Associated Press

Ernie Harwell, the 91-year-old Baseball Hall of Fame honoree and longtime broadcaster for the Detroit Tigers, said Friday he has inoperable cancer.

Harwell told the Associated Press he knows he’ll go through some painful days, but is in good spirits and appreciates the good wishes he’s received from hundreds of fans.

“I guess they (listeners) got used to me, good or bad,” Harwell said in a telephone interview from his home in suburban Novi, Mich. “It’s a great honor to be part of the family like that. … So-called fame is fleeting.”

Harwell said he began feeling ill this summer. He had surgery last month for an obstructed bile duct. Doctors found a cancerous tumor and several days ago advised him against further surgery.

“They told us what the situation was,” he said. “We trusted their judgment.”

Sox haven’t quit

Chicago White Sox general manager Kenny Williams said his team is still aiming for the playoffs, despite trading away Jim Thome and Jose Contreras earlier in the week.

The two deals were compared to a 1997 “white flag” trade that saw the White Sox ship three veteran pitchers to the San Francisco Giants at the trade deadline, even though Chicago was only 31/2 games out of first place at the time.

“There’s a lot that can happen in this month of September, but no there is no quitting or giving up,” Williams said. “We’re still in it to win it.”

Clearing the bases

Cleveland Indians center fielder Grady Sizemore will miss the remainder of the season because of soreness in his left elbow that will require arthroscopic surgery. … Chicago Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano is out indefinitely with a sore left knee. … Former Texas Rangers first-round draft pick Thomas Diamond has been claimed off waivers by the Cubs. The 10th pick of the 2004 draft, who pitched in five games for the 2004 Spokane Indians before being promoted, was claimed three days after the Rangers designated the oft-injured right-hander for assignment. … Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon has been fined again for slowing down games. Papelbon was fined $5,000 by Major League Baseball for taking too long to throw his first pitch.

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