Suppan passes physical

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National League championship series MVP Jeff Suppan and the Milwaukee Brewers finalized a $42 million, four-year contract on Friday after the pitcher passed a physical.

The Brewers announced the deal on Christmas Eve, but it was contingent on the physical. Suppan's contract includes a team option for 2011 with a $2 million buyout.

The eight-hander, receiving the richest contract in Brewers history, wouldn't change his approach.

"I don't think my preparation should change because I'm making a lot of money," he said in a conference call. "Will there be any extra pressure? There could be, but there also could not be. I've never made this kind of money before, so I've just got to keep my focus."

Suppan, 31, earned $4 million pitching for St. Louis last season and went 12-7 with a 4.12 ERA.

Mercer recovering

Former New York Yankees player Bobby Murcer watched the Independence Bowl from a Houston hospital bed after surgery to remove a brain tumor.

Murcer, 60, now a Yankees broadcaster, was alert and joking with staff and family members Friday, a day after surgery at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, according to his wife Kay.

Murcer, who watched Oklahoma State beat Alabama 34-31 Thursday night in the Independence Bowl, had been having headaches and feeling a loss of energy. The tumor was discovered following an MRI on Christmas Eve.

Ramirez injured

Hanley Ramirez, this year's top rookie in the National League, will miss the rest of the Dominican winter league season because of a left shoulder strain, but the Florida Marlins shortstop is expected to be ready for the start of spring training.

Ramirez was examined Friday by Marlins physician Dr. Dan Kanell and put on a shoulder-strengthening program. He batted .292 for the Marlins last season with 17 homers, 59 RBIs, 119 runs and 51 stolen bases, before joining the Licey Tigers in the winter league.


Ethics charges filed

Ethics charges filed against the prosecutor at the center of the Duke lacrosse sexual assault case might constitute a conflict of interest that forces him off the case, legal experts said in Raleigh, N.C.

"It's hard for me to imagine how he can be effective as an advocate, with either the court or a future jury, when he has ethics charges pending against him ... concerning his conduct of this very same case," said Joseph Kennedy, a University of North Carolina law professor.

The North Carolina bar filed the ethics charges Thursday, accusing District Attorney Mike Nifong of violating four rules of professional conduct by making misleading and inflammatory comments about the athletes under suspicion.

Kennedy said Nifong should recuse himself, but added that the judge overseeing the case could order his removal from the case. The ethics charges carry penalties that range from admonishment to removal from the bar.

The bar said it opened a case against Nifong on March 30, a little more than two weeks after a 28-year-old woman hired to perform as a stripper at a lacrosse team party said she was gang-raped.

The ethics charges will be heard by the state's Disciplinary Hearing Commission, made up of lawyers and non-lawyers, at a forum similar to a trial. A date for the hearing has not been set.

Alpine skiing

Brossen wins slalom

Sweden's Therese Borssen raced to her first World Cup victory Friday, taking a slalom with a combined time of 1 minute, 55.15 seconds in Semmering, Ausria.

The 22-year-old Borssen was second after the first run.

In front of 15,000 spectators on her home Hirschenkogel course, Austria's Kathrin Zettel -- winner of Thursday's giant slalom -- finished second, 0.25 seconds back.

Lindsey Kildow of the United States lost control halfway her second run and did not finish. All other American skiers failed to qualify for the evening session.

Schild goes into 2007 on top of the overall World Cup standings after recapturing the lead she lost Thursday to compatriot Nicole Hosp, who did not finish in her first run Friday.


School cancels season

Purdue-Calumet canceled the rest of its men's season and accepted the resignation of its coaching staff after eight players were declared academically ineligible in Hammond, Ind.

The school will assess the program and make improvements before next season, said Rob Jensen, vice chancellor for health, recreation and sports, in a statement Friday.

The NAIA Division I school had an 8-5 record before canceling its remaining 16 games. Chancellor Howard Cohen said the decision to cancel the season was necessary.

Coach Mike James, a former all-conference player, had a 29-33 record. The men's and women's programs will move to NAIA Division II next season.