Murcer back in booth for Friday's game

Murcer back in YES booth for Friday's game

NEW YORK -- When Chien-Ming Wang throws his first pitch of the evening on Friday against the Seattle Mariners, Bobby Murcer will be present in the YES Network broadcast booth for the first time this season.

It's a safe bet that, at some point during the game, Murcer's image will flash on the large video screen in right-center field. It's an even safer bet that if it does, the crowd reaction will be louder and more heartfelt than anything that occurs in the game.

"I wish I had a word to describe it, to tell you the truth," Murcer said. "I really wish I had a way to describe it. It's been absolutely wonderful, all the support that's been afforded me and the prayers. God has just blessed me, what can I say?"

The 61-year-old Murcer will call his first game for the Yankees' television network since having a biopsy in early March at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.

The biopsy revealed scar tissue and no signs of cancer, and though Murcer has felt more fatigued of late, he said, "It looks like we've got it under control."

Murcer was operated on in December 2006 for incurable brain cancer, and since the surgery, Murcer has been undergoing regular MRI scans every other month. Thursday marked his first trip to Yankee Stadium since the conclusion of the 2007 season.

"Any time I walk through these halls and be in this place here, talking about baseball, man, that's right up my alley," Murcer said.

Murcer was a five-time All-Star during his 17 big league seasons, with four of those All-Star appearances coming as a member of the Yankees. He batted .277 with 252 home runs and 1,043 RBIs in 1,908 Major League games, and also played for the Cubs and Giants.

Murcer will broadcast Friday's and Sunday's games for the YES Network. He said that he has tried to keep tabs on the Yankees early this season, and when asked what he thought of the team so far, he cracked, "I hope they get some rest."

"I was worn out trying to follow those guys on the road," Murcer said. "Eighteen out of 20 days and then they'd been in Spring Training, that takes a lot out of you."

Pitching matchup
NYY: RHP Chien-Ming Wang (5-0, 3.23 ERA)
Wang continued his undefeated opening to the season by pitching seven scoreless innings over the Indians on Sunday, finishing the month of April 5-0 and joining Arizona's Brandon Webb as the Majors' only five-game winners -- though Webb won his sixth later Sunday. Wang showcased his improving slider to strike out a season-high nine, one shy of a career high, and allowed just one runner to get as far as third base. Wang scattered four hits while walking two in a 113-pitch (73 for strikes) performance.

SEA: LHP Erik Bedard (2-0, 2.04 ERA)
Erik Bedard returned from the disabled list to throw 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball in a 5-3 win over the Athletics in his last start. The left-hander allowed only two hits in his first action in 18 days after being sidelined with inflammation in his hip. The former Oriole returns to the American League East to face the Yankees, a team he dominated in 2007, posting a 2-0 record with a 1.29 ERA in three starts against the Bronx Bombers.

Tidbits
Derek Jeter has 1,390 runs scored for his career, tying Joe DiMaggio for fourth place on the Yankees' all-time lists. ... Hideki Matsui is riding an 11-game hitting streak and is batting .308 (12-for-39) over that stretch. ... Melky Cabrera recorded 10 putouts in Thursday's game. It is the most putouts by a Major League outfielder in a nine-inning game since Carlos Beltran recorded 10 on Sept. 26, 2005, for the Mets at Philadelphia. ... The Yankees are the only team in the Majors without a two-error game. ... The Yankees currently have nine players on the disabled list, matching the Rangers for the most in the big leagues.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• YES

On radio
• WCBS 880, WNSW 1430 (Español)

Up next
• Saturday: Yankees (Mike Mussina, 3-3, 4.73) vs. Mariners (Felix Hernandez, 2-1, 2.22), 1:05 p.m. ET
• Sunday: Yankees (Darrell Rasner, 1-3, 4.01 in 2007) vs. Mariners (Carlos Silva, 3-0, 2.79), 1:05 p.m. ET
• Monday: Off-day

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.