■ BaseballNY Yankees sign Pavano
Right-hander Carl Pavano and the New York Yankees finalized their US$39.95 million, four-year contract on Wednesday. Pavano, who turns 29 on Jan. 8, was among the most sought-after free-agent pitchers. He told his agent, Scott Shapiro, on Dec. 11 to work out a contract with the Yankees. "I know the team I'm going to have behind me is going to be competitive every year," Pavano said. He joins holdovers Mike Mussina and Kevin Brown on a rebuilt Yankees rotation. New York also has a preliminary agreement with free agent Jaret Wright and is trying to acquire Randy Johnson from Arizona in a trade that likely would send Javier Vazquez to the Diamondbacks or another team. Pavano was 18-8 with a 3.00 ERA for Florida last season.
Aussies choose captain
Former Davis Cup player John Alexander was selected Friday as Australia's Fed Cup team for 2005, taking over from Evonne Goolagong Cawley who retired in November after three years. Alexander, the first man since Neale Fraser in 1978 to head the women's team, will be looking to guide the Australian team back into main world group. The team was knocked out of the world group in July after losing a playoff to Thailand. His first matches in charge will be the Asia/Oceania Zone Group I round-robin competition in April.The youngest player to compete in Davis Cup for Australia, Alexander represented Australia in 41 matches from 1968 to 1980 and reached a career high ranking of No. 8 in singles. He has been a television commentator in recent years.