updated 04/21/2004 AT 1:00 AM ET
•originally published 06/08/1999 AT 12:00 AM ET
Joe DiMaggio drew a smile from his doctor Thursday with a feisty request. “I want to get the hell out of here and go home,” the former Yankees slugger said. The 84-year-old DiMaggio continues to show improvement in a Florida hospital after developing a lung infection as he battles lung cancer. “Things are looking up today, but who knows what will happen tomorrow,” said Dr. Earl Barron, DiMaggio’s cardiologist. DiMaggio had no fever, and his white blood cell count was normal. He had been unable to speak because of a tube in his trachea but indicated with hand gestures that he wanted to talk, Barron said. He had the tube capped temporarily, allowing him to make his comment.