PHILADELPHIA Former major leaguer John Marzano died Saturday after falling down a flight of stairs at his home. He was 45.
The cause of his death was not immediately clear, police said.
Marzano was from Philadelphia and had been working for Major League Baseball's Web site, where he co-hosted a show on weekday mornings.
"John was a beloved member of our team, a personable, terrific friend to all with whom he worked," said Bob Bowman, chief executive officer of MLB Advanced Media. "He was an engaging, informed interviewer. His energy, knowledge of the game and comedic touch produced admirable results. We miss him dearly already."
In a statement announcing his death, MLB said Marzano had fallen. MLB.com will establish an internship program in Marzano's name, the release said.
Before joining MLB's Web site, Marzano was a baseball analyst on Comcast SportsNet for the station's Philadelphia Phillies postgame shows. He had also appeared regularly on WIP-AM.
"John was one of those rare persons who put a smile on your face the moment you saw him. He was joyous and he was proud," said Comcast's Michael Barkann, who co-hosted many of the postgame shows with Marzano. "You always knew when John was in the room. You never asked, 'When'd you get here, Johnny?' He always made an entrance, and it was big and it was loud and it was full of joy."
Marzano, known for his South Philly accent, appeared with Barkann on the station's "Daily News Live" show from the Wachovia Center before the Philadelphia Flyers hosted the Washington Capitals in an NHL playoff game on Thursday. At one point, Marzano stopped in mid-sentence, turned to the crowd and screamed, "Let's Go Flyers!"
"The place went nuts," Barkann said. "He did that a few more times during his segment to the same effect each time. That will be my enduring memory of John smiling, talking sports with a sea of fans behind him. I will miss him every day."
A graduate of Temple, Marzano earned a spot as a catcher on the 1984 U.S. Olympic team that included future major league stars Mark McGwire, Barry Larkin and Will Clark. He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox with the 14th overall pick in the first round of the 1984 amateur draft.
Marzano played 10 seasons in the big leagues for the Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners before retiring in 1998. He also played in the minors for the Phillies and the Cleveland Indians.
Overall, Marzano batted .241 with 11 homers and 72 RBIs in 794 at-bats in 301 games.
YANKEES PITCHER FARNSWORTH SUSPENDED: At Baltimore, New York Yankees reliever Kyle Farnsworth was suspended for three games and fined Saturday for throwing a fastball behind the neck of Boston slugger Manny Ramirez earlier in the week.
Farnsworth said he was "shocked" by the decision and would appeal the penalty, which was to start Saturday night against Baltimore. He will be eligible to pitch until a hearing is held.
"I can't agree," he said. "We will appeal, and then we'll go from there."
Manager Joe Girardi also expressed his shock at the ruling by Bob Watson, vice president of on-field operations for Major League Baseball. The amount of the fine was not disclosed.
CHAMBERLAIN RETURNS TO YANKEES: Joba Chamberlain returned to the New York Yankees on Saturday after missing five games to be with his sick father in Nebraska.
The hard-throwing reliever, who flew to Baltimore in the morning and arrived at the ballpark in the late afternoon, pitched a scoreless eighth inning in the Yankees' 6-0 loss to the Orioles. Chamberlain said his father was doing much better.
"What a day. I was at the hospital this morning, took a flight here, got on my uniform and went out to get warmed up," he said. "It was nice to be back with the team."
Girardi said Chamberlain threw while he was in Nebraska.
Harlan Chamberlain collapsed at home April 14 and was hospitalized and put on a ventilator. Joba Chamberlain flew home that day and was placed on the bereavement list by the team.
Harlan Chamberlain was taken off the ventilator Friday night.
GIANTS DESIGNATE OF DAVIS FOR ASSIGNMENT: The San Francisco Giants will designate outfielder Rajai Davis for assignment as part of a series of roster moves they announced Saturday.
Following their 3-0 win over St. Louis, the Giants put left-handed reliever Erick Threets on the 15-day disabled list with a strained chest. Threets is 0-1 with a 3.66 ERA in seven innings.
The Giants recalled right-hander Keiichi Yabu from Triple-A Fresno. He is 4-0 lifetime, but has not pitched in the majors since 2005.
TWINS PUT SS EVERETT ON DISABLED LIST: Shortstop Adam Everett was placed on 15-day disabled list by the Minnesota Twins because of a strained right shoulder.
The move before Saturday's game was retroactive to Tuesday, making Everett eligible to be activated on April 30. Corner infielder Brian Buscher, who will give manager Ron Gardenhire another left-handed bat off the bench, was recalled from Triple-A Rochester to take his roster spot.
Everett is hitting .185 with one double and two RBIs in 27 at-bats. He was signed by the Twins for his defense, though, and the weakness and soreness in his shoulder has affected his throwing. Everett has made three errors in nine games.