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A-Rod, Yankees shine before Boss

CHAMPIONSHIP TRIO: Derek Jeter balances the 2009 World Series trophy on Yogi Berra as Reggie Jackson looks on.

Associated Press

CHAMPIONSHIP TRIO: Derek Jeter balances the 2009 World Series trophy on Yogi Berra as Reggie Jackson looks on.

TAMPA — George Steinbrenner had to like what he saw.

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Alex Rodriguez singled, No. 98 Colin Curtis hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning and the Yankees beat the Pirates 6-3 Wednesday with their owner in attendance to watch the World Series champions in their spring opener.

Steinbrenner, 79, has made few public appearances since handing over daily control of the team to his sons, managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner and co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner, in late 2007.

"I enjoyed the game," George Steinbrenner said.

JAZZED UP: Former Yankees CF Bernie Williams visited the clubhouse. An accomplished jazz performer, Williams said music is pushing playing baseball into the background.

"Probably 70 percent music, 30 percent playing," Williams said. "I miss it. Who wouldn't? The key is filling that void. I think I found it in music. I feel very fortunate to reinvent myself. I'm happy where I'm at right now."

JOBA WORKS OUT: RHP Joba Chamberlain threw 25 pitches in a bullpen session that had been pushed back one day because he had flulike symptoms. Afterward Chamberlain said he felt "beat" but was feeling better than he had. The pitcher was sent home before the game to relax.

MCGRIFF SIGHTING: Fred McGriff, the former Rays first baseman and Tampa native, rode in an elevator en route to his seat with Hal Steinbrenner. McGriff was drafted by the Yankees in 1981 but was traded the following year while in the minors.

Phillies: Taking it easy with Victorino

CLEARWATER — CF Shane Victorino was one of the few regulars to sit out Wednesday night's exhibition against Florida State.

Victorino is recovering from soreness in his throwing shoulder, and manager Charlie Manuel wants to ease him back into action. He was replaced by John Mayberry, who has impressed Manuel in the spring with his approach during batting practice.

Virtually all the other regulars started but came out after one or two plate appearances.

"I'm anxious to see all of our guys," Manuel said before the game. "I'm anxious to see every one of them."

LHP J.A. Happ, who finishing second in NL rookie of the year voting last season, pitched two scoreless innings in the 13-6 win over the Seminoles.

Phillippe Aumont, one of the key prospects in the trade that sent LHP Cliff Lee to the Mariners, didn't fare so well. The 6-foot-7 right-hander took over for Happ and allowed three hits, walked three, threw a wild pitch that allowed a run and served up a three-run home run to FSU DH Stuart Tapley.

INJURY REPORT: LHP J.C. Romero and RHP Brad Lidge threw bullpen sessions and said they hope to accelerate their timetables. Lidge is recovering from offseason elbow and knee surgeries, Romero from elbow surgery.

Jays: Ace candidate impressive, mostly

DUNEDIN — LHP Ricky Romero, bidding for the No. 1 spot in the rotation vacated by the traded Roy Halladay, made one damaging pitch in his two innings of work, a wind-aided solo homer to right by Brent Dlugach with two outs in the second in a 7-6 loss to the Tigers.

"It was a tough day out there with the wind blowing, one of those days you love to be a left-handed hitter," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said.

Romero gave up two hits, had a strikeout and no walks. Gaston said Romero looked a lot better this time than early last spring.

"Control problems," Gaston said. "Now you don't see that. There's a little bit of confidence along with the hard work. He looked great. I think he just got a little careless at the end. Other­wise he pitched great."

Fast facts

Yankees

Where: George Steinbrenner Field, 1 Steinbrenner Drive, Tampa

Phillies

Where: Carpenter Complex and Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater. Today: vs. Yankees, 1:05

Blue Jays

Where: Englebert Complex, 1700 Solon Ave., Dunedin. Today: vs. Tigers at Lakeland, 1:05

A-Rod, Yankees shine before Boss 03/03/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 3, 2010 11:31pm]

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