Tug McGraw underwent six hours of surgery to remove a brain tumor yesterday in Tampa, but doctors do not expect to know until Friday whether it is cancerous.
"I'm very optimistic in a couple days he'll want to leave the hospital," physician Steven Brem said. "His chances are excellent for recovery."
Brem, who directs the neuro-oncology program at the Moffitt Cancer Center, described the 58-year-old former star pitcher as alert and in good spirits. Brem said the single tumor extended to both sides of the brain.
McGraw, who helped the Mets and Phillies win World Series titles during his 19 seasons, was hospitalized last week. He has been a special spring training instructor for Philadelphia the last two years.
The left-hander was an outstanding reliever, compiling a 96-92 record with a 3.14 ERA and 180 saves in his career. He pitched for the Mets from 1965 to '74 and for the Phillies from 1975 to '84.
McGraw popularized the phrase "Ya Gotta Believe!" with the Mets during their improbable pennant run in 1973 and closed out the Phillies' only World Series championship in 1980.
* DIAMONDBACKS: OF Luis Gonzalez agreed to a three-year, $30 million contract extension.
It is a substantial raise for Gonzalez, a three-time all-star and .316 hitter in his four years with the team. He will get $4 million this season under his current contract.
"The trade that was made to bring Luis here was an all-time deal for us," Diamondbacks owner Jerry Colangelo said. "Gonzo has become an icon."
Gonzalez told agent Jeff Moorad that he did not want to become a free agent and that he wanted to stay with the Diamondbacks. Gonzalez gets a $250,000 signing bonus, $8.25 million in 2004, $10 million in 2005 and $11.5 million in 2006. The contract includes a mutual option for 2007 at $10 million
"This gives me a lot of peace of mind," said Gonzalez, whose ninth-inning single against the Yankees' Mariano Rivera won the 2001 World Series. "Contracts are kind of always lying in the back of your mind, but now I can just let it go. I'm very excited today for myself and my family and I'm excited to put the uniform back on."
Gonzalez and his wife, Christine, said they will give $1 million to as-yet-unspecified charities.
Gonzalez separated his shoulder chasing a ball in a September game against the Cardinals when he collided with SS Tony Womack. He had surgery and was not available as the Diamondbacks lost in the first round of the playoffs.
"I'm glad he's back because he's the anchor in the middle of our offense," Manager Bob Brenly said. "He is the face of the Diamondbacks."
* ANGELS: RHP Matt Wise will be sidelined for the season because of a torn ligament in his pitching elbow and will have surgery Tuesday in Los Angeles.
* YANKEES: Reliever Steve Karsay appears likely to start the season on the disabled list because of right shoulder soreness.
* EXPOS: RHP Orlando Hernandez will be sidelined for seven to 10 days because of tendinitis in his right rotator cuff.