Wednesday's news on the former Phillies player, coach, interim manager and special assistant to the general manager was even more unsettling.
Since January, Vukovich, 59, has been in a Philadelphia hospital, where he's fighting for his life after doctors discovered a brain tumor.
"Just say prayers," said Phillies vice president of public relations Larry Shenk, who spent the day providing updates to hundreds of concerned friends, fans and associates.
Vukovich hasn't been accepting visitors, and his family has requested privacy during this time."I couldn't sleep last night thinking about it," manager Charlie Manuel. Good to be the King: For the second straight game, Brennan King was a hero. King lifted the Phillies to a 6-3 win over the Blue Jays with a three-run, two-out homer in the bottom of the 10th inning. A day earlier, King won an 11-10 game against the Pirates with a two-run single, also in the 10th. Wednesday's home run bounced off the top of the left-field wall at Bright House Networks Field. "I didn't know it was going out," King said. "The way the left fielder was going back, I thought he was going to catch it." King, who was born in Murfreesboro, Tenn., credits an improved batting stance for his success. He's off to a .455 start this spring, after hitting .261 with 12 homers in 364 at-bats with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2006. It doesn't matter to King that this game was played on March 7. His job is the same. "You're trying to turn some heads a little bit and let them see what you can do," he said. Quotable: "I want to make it as tough a decision as I can for them. These [starting pitchers] all have contracts, but if there's a shot, I hope they'll remember the name." -- J.A. Happ, who has tossed 3 2/3 effective innings this spring Philling in: Ryan Howard has hit safely in all five of his Grapefruit League games. ... Friday's game against the Red Sox in Fort Myers, Fla., will be broadcast exclusively on Gameday Audio. The Phillies and Red Sox will use the designated hitter.
Coming up: On Thursday, Phils righty Adam Eaton will start the "B" game in Dunedin, Fla., against the Blue Jays at 10 a.m. ET, while lefty Brian Mazone faces the Indians at 1:05 p.m. in Winter Haven, Fla.
This will mark the only spring trip to Winter Haven for Phils manager Charlie Manuel, who has a house 15 minutes away. He spent many years with the Indians as a hitting coach and manager.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.