Former Texas Ranger manager Johnny Oates has been diagnosed with a brain tumor and will undergo surgery later this month.
Oates began to experience some weakness in his left side in late October and was forced to cut short a telephone interview because of weakness and slurred speech. He underwent tests and was told of the diagnosis Monday.
"My family and I have great strength at this time, and I have put myself in the hands of the Lord," Oates said in a statement released Thursday by the Rangers. "I am optimistic about the future. I appreciate all of the kind words and prayers that I have received."
The 55-year-old Oates, who lives in Matoaca, Va., and played for the Dodgers from 1977-79, was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma Multiforme, the most aggressive form of primary brain tumors. The average survival rate is about a year. The surgery will be in Richmond, Va.
"The entire Texas Rangers family is deeply saddened to hear this news regarding Johnny Oates," Ranger owner Tom Hicks said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Johnny, Gloria, and their family."
Oates, who managed the Rangers to their only three AL West titles (1996, '98 and '99), resigned under pressure May 4 after an 11-17 start.
In six-plus seasons with the Rangers, he had a 506-476 record, a .521 winning percentage. He ranks second in team history in wins, winning percentage and games managed.