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Caray still up for calling home games

Caray still up for calling home games

ATLANTA -- If his health doesn't allow him to broadcast any road games this year, Skip Caray isn't going to be devastated. The longtime Braves broadcaster is simply happy to still be alive to at least call games that are played at Turner Field.

This past October, doctors were concerned enough about Caray's health that they asked for all of his family members to come to the hospital to possibly pay their last respects. His liver was failing and the doctors in the intensive care unit felt they had done all that they could do.

Then, somewhat miraculously, Caray says he awoke for the first time in three weeks only to find his wife, Paula, and all of his children surrounding his hospital bed.

"I said, 'Where the hell am I and what are all you people doing here?" Caray said. "They all just breathed a sigh of relief because they didn't know if I was going to wake up."

Over the past few months, Caray has had both good and bad stretches. Along with diabetes and a bad liver, the 68-year-old broadcaster has also had problems with his kidneys and heart.

With all of these ailments, doctors have had to be careful what medicines they prescribe. Some of them counteract the intended effects of the others.

"The liver was about as bad as they've ever seen," Caray said. "It will never be normal again. But it's back to where I can live with it.

"I've got so many things wrong that what is great for one thing has an adverse effect on another. If it's good for the diabetes, it's bad for the heart. If it's good for the heart, it's bad for the diabetes."

When asked how he was feeling before Wednesday night's game against the Pirates, Caray said, "Tired," and then explained that he hasn't been sleeping more than an hour at a time in the middle of the night. Still, with all of these problems, Caray was around until the end of Monday night's 4 1/2-hour home-opening loss to the Pirates. Although, he was fatigued, the marathon contest gave him more confidence that he'll have the strength to at least broadcast home games this year on radio.

Caray's doctors have told him that he definitely can't travel during the season's first three months and he understands there's a chance he won't broadcast any road games this year.

"I say, 'I'm going to do all of the home games' and I hope that I am," Caray said. "But I'm not going to embarrass myself, the Braves or Turner. If I feel like I'm not getting it done or can't do it, I'll just say, 'Forget it.' I don't need the money."

Caray, who has been a Braves broadcaster since 1976, knows he still has a lot of reason to worry about his health. But for now, he's just thankful that he still has the opportunity to come to the ballpark.

"I'm not complaining," Caray said. "I'm 68 [years old]. If I go tonight, I've had a hell of a life."

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

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