Baseball Notable

Vern Ruhle

, a former major-league pitcher and coach for several teams, including the Phillies, died after a yearlong battle with cancer. He was 55.

Ruhle died Saturday at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston of complications from treatment for multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow, the Cincinnati Reds said yesterday.

Ruhle pitched for Detroit, Houston, Cleveland and the California Angels from 1974 to 1986, going 67-88 with a 3.73 ERA. He was a pitching coach with Houston, the Phillies and the New York Mets before joining the Reds organization in 2004.

Ruhle began 2006 as the Reds' pitching coach, but he was diagnosed during a routine physical in February and missed the whole season. He had been assigned to work as the Reds' minor-league pitching rehabilitation coordinator for this season.

"The baseball and Cincinnati Reds families mourn the loss of an excellent coach, wonderful husband and loving father," the team said in a statement.

He is survived by his wife, Sue; a daughter, Rebecca; and a son, Kenny.

Bonds' deal not complete. The San Francisco Giants have not finalized a contract with slugger Barry Bonds. Baseball sources told the New York Daily News that the hang-up is over language about the outfielder's conduct and his entourage.

"We're not talking about it," Larry Baer, one of the team's principal owners, said when asked about the status of Bonds' stalled contract.

Bonds is 22 home runs away from passing Hank Aaron's career record of 755. An agreement was reached Dec. 7 that his salary would be $15.8 million for this season, but neither side has signed off on it.

- Inquirer wire services