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 ST. LOUIS (AP) -Jeff Suppan viewed his first visit to Busch Stadium since the St. Louis Cardinals' World Series parade as a business trip and nothing more.
The MVP of the NL championship series, who signed a free-agent deal with the Milwaukee Brewers after his old team showed little interest, insisted Friday he has no hard feelings.
``I realized they had to do what they had to do and I had to do what I felt I had to do,'' Suppan said before the Brewers and Cardinals opened a three-game series. ``I concentrated on being professional, seeing what was out there and being open to whatever offers there were.''
Suppan's homecoming was his first chance to visit with ex-teammates since the Cardinals' trip to the White House in February. He was presented his World Series ring at a pre-game ceremony. Suppan got hugs from several ex-teammates, but did not make a speech.
Suppan, 0-2 with a 4.15 ERA after two starts with Milwaukee, is scheduled to pitch the series finale on Sunday.
``I didn't really have any preconceived ideas of what it was going to be like,'' Suppan said. ``It's fun to see some guys I haven't seen in a while.''
Suppan's four-year, $42 million deal is the largest in Brewers history after he made $4 million last year with St. Louis. He was 12-7 with a 4.12 ERA in 2006, then excelled in the NLCS against the Mets with eight scoreless innings and the victory in Game 3 and seven solid innings in the clinching Game 7.
``I think when you have memories of a World Series, to win it all with a group of guys you admired and enjoyed playing with is special,'' Suppan said. ``That being said, my job is to get ready for Sunday and get ready to pitch my game.''
Suppan went 44-26 with a 3.95 ERA during his three-season stay in St. Louis. He was 62-75 in his career prior to that. St. Louis replaced Suppan, Jeff Weaver and Jason Marquis from last season's rotation, converting relievers Adam Wainwright and Braden Looper to fill two holes and signing Kip Wells to a one-year, $4 million deal.
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said Suppan and the Cardinals were a good match, but re-signing him wasn't possible.
``That's the way it's supposed to be,'' La Russa said. ``We knew how much money we had ... we couldn't get close.''

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