MLB notes: Former Cardinal Forsch dies at 61

Bob Forsch, a former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher, throws out ceremonial first pitch before the...

Bob Forsch, a former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher, throws out ceremonial first pitch before the Cardinals met the Texas Rangers in Game 7 of MLB's World Series baseball championship in St. Louis, Missouri, on Oct. 28, 2011. (REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine)

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, Last Updated: 12:51 AM ET

Less than a week after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 7 of the World Series in St. Louis, former Cardinal Bob Forsch has died. He was 61.

Forsch's wife, Janice, said her husband had suffered an aneurysm in his chest Thursday night and collapsed at their Florida home.

"Bob was a one of the best pitchers in the history of our organization and a valued member of the Cardinals family," team chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. in a statement Friday. "Having been with Bob just last week, we are all stunned by this news. The entire Cardinals organization extends its sincere condolences to Bob's wife, Janice, his two daughters, Amy and Kristin, and his countless friends."

After Forsch's appearance on the mound Oct. 28, the Cardinals went on to win the World Series.

Forsch spent 15 seasons with the team from 1974 to 1988 and is the only pitcher in franchise history with two no-hitters. He was a member of St. Louis' 1982 World Series championship team.

WANG BACK WITH NATS

Taiwanese pitcher Wang Chien-ming signed a one-year contract to remain with the Washington Nationals, the team said Friday.

The free-agent right-hander, 31, had a 4-3 record in 11 starts with Washington in 2011 after missing more than two seasons with a shoulder injury.

The deal is worth $4 million, according to multiple reports.

Nationals’ general manager Mike Rizzo said he was anxious to see how effective Wang could be after a healthy off-season.

Wang spent five years with the New York Yankees, posting 19-win seasons in 2006 and 2007, before undergoing shoulder surgery in 2009.

ARIZONA BOSSES REWARDED

The Arizona Diamondbacks have rewarded manager Kirk Gibson and general manager Kevin Towers for leading the franchise to an NL West title this past season.

Gibson and Towers have been given three-year contracts with club options for two years that could keep them with the Diamondbacks through 2016.

"Their greatest contributions were a change of culture," Diamondbacks managing partner Ken Kendrick said Friday.

Gibson took over as manager July 1, 2010 when the Diamondbacks fired skipper A.J. Hinch and GM Josh Byrnes. Towers was hired as GM in September 2010.

Coming off a 65-97 finish in 2010, the Diamondbacks rebounded with a 94-68 record this past season before losing an NL first-round series against Milwaukee.

MORSE POWERS MLB

Michael Morse hit a homer and a double Friday, leading the MLB All-Stars to a 6-2 win over the Chinese Taipei national team in the third of a five-game exhibition series.

The MLB has won each of the three games thus far. The final two games are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.

Morse, who led the Washington Nationals in 2011 with 31 homers, 95 RBI and a .303 batting average, crushed a pitch over the centre field wall for a 4-1 lead in the third.

Kansas City's Felipe Paulino started for the MLB stars and allowed one run in four innings.

BRIEFLY

Catcher Henry Blanco has agreed on a one-year $1.5-million contract to return to the Diamondbacks. The 40-year-old hit .250 with eight homers as Arizona's backup catcher last season ... Former St. Louis catcher Mike Matheny interviewed Friday for the job as Cardinals manager. Terry Francona reportedly also was to discuss the position Friday but did not meet with the club, sources told MLB.com ... Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum is the early front-runner to become the Boston Red Sox manager, Fox Sports says.


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