YANKEES SIGN `EL DUQUE': Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez, the former Cuban baseball star who defected two months ago, agreed Friday to a $6.6 million, four-year contract with the New York Yankees.

Hernandez, 28, turned down an offer from the Anaheim Angels thought to be worth about $5 million. The Angels' parent, The Walt Disney Co., reportedly offered a movie deal as part of the contract.


FINAL BELL FOR CHAVEZ?: Julio Cesar Chavez, one of the few modern fighters to record 100 victories, enters the ring Saturday night in Mexico City for what might be his final bout.

His decision will depend on who wins the WBC super lightweight title - Chavez, the 35-year-old, six-time world champion, or his young rival, Miguel Angel Gonzalez.

Paralympic Games

UTAHN TAKES GOLD: American Sarah Billmeier won her sixth career skiing gold medal today, edging Austrian Nicola Lechner in the women's downhill at the Paralympic Games in Nagano, Japan.

Maggie Behle of Salt Lake City, won the bronze - her first Paralympic medal - in a time of 1:27.41. Lechner took the silver with a time of 1:23.95.


UTAHN FINISHES SECOND: Stanley Hayer of Canada won a Nor-Am Cup men's slalom ski race on Friday, timed at 1 minute, 39.9 seconds for two runs at Collingwood, Ontario. Park City's Sasha Gros finished second at 1:40.45.