Arizona Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen taking leave of absence as wife battles brain cancer

PHOENIX — The losses keep mounting, the misery and frustration has been unbearable, but as everyone in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization was reminded Friday, it’s just baseball.

Mike Hazen, general manager of the Diamondbacks, is taking an indefinite leave of absence.

His family, you see, needs him much more than his baseball team.

His wife, Nicole, is batting an aggressive form of brain cancer called glioblastoma, which has a typical life expectancy of 12 to 18 months.

Nicole, 44, was officially diagnosed with the disease 11 months ago.

“Nicole is doing OK,’’ Hazen said. “She is grinding. But we’re being realistic about the journey that we’re on right now.’’

Hazen, 45, was asked by Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick and president Derrick Hall during the winter if he wanted to step aside, but Hazen told them he could manage. They checked with him during spring training. Really, just about every time they talked, they asked him whether he needed time away.

Hazen kept fighting, insisting he could do his job and take care of his family, which includes his four sons ranging in age from 10 to 15.

It was three days ago when he finally relented, knowing the time had come.

He needs to be with his family, now more than ever, and with the amateur draft and trade deadline around the corner, he had to be at home.


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