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Phillies' Utley OKs $85-million deal

NEWSWIRE

January 22, 2007|Larry Stewart | From Times Staff and Wire Reports

One day after getting married, second baseman Chase Utley agreed Sunday to an $85-million, seven-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.

"Chase puts up very good individual numbers, but at the same time, he's a team player," Phillies General Manager Pat Gillick said.

Utley batted .309 last season with 40 doubles, 32 home runs, 102 runs batted in and 131 runs. He also had a 35-game hitting streak that tied for the 10th-longest in major league history and longest by a second baseman.

After making $500,000 last year, Utley gets a $2-million signing bonus and salaries of $4.5 million this year, $7.5 million in 2008, $11 million in 2009 and $15 million in each of the final seasons.

Utley, who must pass a physical for the deal to be finalized, would have been eligible for free agency after the 2009 season. Utley was not available for comment because he was on his honeymoon.

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SOCCER

U.S. men qualify for Under-20 World Cup

The United States, already qualified for a record-setting sixth straight FIFA Under-20 World Cup because of the result in the night's earlier match, won Group A of the CONCACAF qualifying tournament with a 5-0 victory against Panama in Panama City.

Haiti upset Guatemala, 2-0, in the first match of the doubleheader, mathematically advancing the U.S. and Panama to the 2007 Under-20 World Cup in Canada from June 30 to July 22.

Freddy Adu was selected the man of the match for scoring two goals, including the opener in the seventh minute. Robbie Rogers, Johann Smith and Jonathan Villanueva all scored before Adu finished off the rout with a strike in the 90th minute.

Thierry Henry scored during injury time to give Arsenal a 2-1 comeback win over Manchester United in a Premier League game at London.

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WINTER SPORTS

Putzer wins giant slalom; Mancuso second

Karen Putzer was the surprise winner in a World Cup giant slalom at Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.

Skiing through heavy fog, Putzer led both runs and compiled a two-run time of 2 minutes 46.93 seconds on the Olympia delle Tofane course.

Olympic giant slalom champion Julia Mancuso finished second, 0.04 of a second behind, for her fifth straight podium finish. She also gained points on the two women ahead of her in the overall standings -- Marlies Schild and Nicole Hosp -- who both failed to finish.

Denise Karbon was third, 0.28 behind, for her best result in three seasons.

Bobsledder Steven Holcomb won his second straight four-man World Cup race at Igls, Austria.

Holcomb and teammates Pavle Jovanovic, Steve Mesler and Brock Kreitzburg -- who also won last week's event -- finished in a combined time of 1 minute 43.09 seconds.

Olympic champion Armin Zoeggeler clinched a record 34th career luge World Cup victory when Sunday's event at Altenberg, Germany, was cut short after the first run because of bad weather.

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MISCELLANY

Bryant's 81-point game wins top moment

Today marks the first anniversary of Kobe Bryant's 81-point performance against the Toronto Raptors, and Sunday night it was named Southern California's top sports moment of 2006. Bryant's moment beat out the Dodgers' four consecutive home runs against San Diego on Sept. 19.

The top L.A. sports events of the year were announced at the second annual Greatest Moments in Sports Awards banquet at the Beverly Hilton. The event was presented by the Los Angeles Sports Council and televised live by FSN Prime Ticket.

The winners were determined by online voting by fans. About 10,000 ballots were cast.

The Clippers' Elton Brand was chosen sportsman of the year, the Sparks' Lisa Leslie was selected sportswoman of the year and Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti and Ducks GM Brian Burke shared the award for executive of the year.

-- Larry Stewart

Connecticut Sun point guard Erin Phillips probably will sit out the upcoming WNBA season after tearing a ligament in her right knee.

French driver Stephane Peterhansel won the 2007 Dakar Rally, claiming his third trophy in one of the world's most punishing and dangerous races.

Peterhansel secured the victory after finishing a final Atlantic Ocean beach stretch of the 5,411-mile race from Europe to Africa.

Overall results put the Mitsubishi driver's final time at 45 hours 53 minutes 37 seconds. Luc Alphand was second -- 7 minutes 26 seconds behind.

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PASSINGS

Ruhle, 55; former major league pitcher

Vern Ruhle, a former major league pitcher and coach for several teams, died in Houston after a yearlong battle with bone marrow cancer. He was 55. Ruhle pitched for Detroit, Houston, Cleveland and the Angels from 1974 to 1986, going 67-88 with a 3.73 earned-run average.

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