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Miley sheds locks to join friend's cancer fight

MLB.com

PHOENIX -- Wade Miley knows what you are thinking.

The D-backs' starting pitcher struggled with his location Saturday night against the Dodgers and so he showed up Sunday morning with his famous Louisiana locks gone and sporting bald head to change his mojo, right?

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PHOENIX -- Wade Miley knows what you are thinking.

The D-backs' starting pitcher struggled with his location Saturday night against the Dodgers and so he showed up Sunday morning with his famous Louisiana locks gone and sporting bald head to change his mojo, right?

View Full Game Coverage

Wrong.

"A very close friend of mine is going through chemo and radiation and I told him as long as he was going to be bald, I was going to be bald," Miley said. "It's just hair, so it's not that big of a deal. It's not like I use it like Samson or anything."

Miley's childhood friend Johnnie Santangelo III recently had a malignant brain tumor removed and is scheduled to begin chemotherapy Tuesday. Santangelo was drafted as a pitcher by the Kansas City Royals in 2004 but his career was cut short because of arm problems.

"It's not Stage IV. It's stage III, which is not great by any means, but they were able to remove the tumor and the radiation and chemo is to kill the rest of the cells in hopes that it's completely gone," Miley said. "What he is going through right now, I commend him for being as strong as he is and it helps me to stay strong."

On Saturday, Miley was charged with five runs on eight hits in five innings against Los Angeles, matching his shortest start of the season. He struck out four batters and walked three.

"It changes your life perspective. You realize how important life is," Miley said. "Obviously, this game is important to me and important to everybody in here, but once you go home and you think about somebody in your life going through something like that, I didn't think about it anymore because the game was over."

Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Wade Miley