The best sound yet of the infant baseball season: Tony Gwynn's laughter, which crackled at Petco Park this afternoon during batting practice. Gwynn is at a Padres workout for the first time since undergoing a battery of radiation and chemotherapy treaments for the mouth cancer diagnosed last August. He said it's too soon to know if he's cancer-free, but he's encouraged by the results. "I've still got a couple more CT Scans and MRIs to go through, but, so far, so good," he said. Gwynn, who turns 51 next month, said he came to the ballpark specifically to thank Padres first-base coach Dave Roberts and part-time coach Mark Merila for their words of advice and support. Roberts has recovered from Hodgkin's lymphoma diagnosed about 13 months ago. Merila was treated for a brain tumor in the late 1990s and again starting in 2005.
"Both of those guys helped me a lot," Gwynn said.
First on his thank-you list, though, is his wife Alicia, whom he's known since childhood in Long Beach. "Look at the sweater vest my wife put me in," he said, laughing. "She's my hero, so I've got to do what she tells me."