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GIRARDI CAMP HAS NEW FEEL AND TEMPO

Joe Girardi kneeled between the mound and home plate on his first day in uniform as Yankees manager and threw batting practice.

Serena Girardi took her cuts, and the 8-year-old followed with a cartwheel in foul territory. Dante Girardi, wearing his father's No. 27, had some swings, then put on the catcher's gear and moved behind the plate before dad slid home and knocked down the 6-year-old as they laughed.

Lena, just 17 months old, toddled around in a blue batting helmet as mom watched.

These aren't Joe Torre's Yankees anymore.

"It happens real fast," the new manager said Friday after the team's first workout. "You spend a couple months, three months planning for this, and all of a sudden you're in it."

After pitchers threw their bullpen sessions and did sprints, after the catchers blocked balls in the dirt, Girardi addressed the media, then went back onto the diamond for what seemed to be Family Day.

Girardi, 43, moves briskly and uses a Blackberry and laptop. His end-of-workout session with reporters lasted 16 minutes, a fraction of Torre's 30-to-45 minute Q&As.

Meanwhile, pitcher Chien-Ming Wang lost his salary arbitration case, and will earn $4-million instead of his requested $4.6-million.

Torre's first day: Joe Torre's first day in a Dodgers uniform in Vero Beach began before dawn. Not by choice.

"I didn't sleep very well last night," Torre said after addressing his new players and watching pitchers and catchers work out. "That's usually the case with me. That's when I knew the excitement was still there."

Torre arrived around 6 a.m., and had to knock on the clubhouse door because he left his keys in his office a day earlier.

The ex-Yankees manager, 67, will soon begin his 27th season as a big-league manager.

Clemens hearing: The chairman of the congressional committee that held Wednesday's hearing in which Roger Clemens denied using HGH now says he didn't think the session had to take place.

The pitcher's lawyers expressed a similar sentiment but disagreed over the specifics.

"I didn't particularly want to do a hearing," said California Democrat Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. "We held the hearing because Roger Clemens wanted that hearing, because Roger Clemens wanted the chance to speak in public and make his case."

"Any suggestion whatsoever that this hearing was the result of our request is simply not accurate," said Clemens lawyer Lanny Breuer.

Astros: The team won its arbitration case with closer Jose Valverde. Valverde asked for $6.2-million and the team offered $4.7-million.

Brewers: All-Star shortstop J.J. Hardy agreed to a $2.65-million, one-year deal to avoid arbitration. He had asked for $3.05-million, while the team had offered $2.4-million.

Mariners: Left-hander Erik Bedard agreed to a $7-million, one-year contract, avoiding arbitration with the team that acquired him last week. Bedard was asking for $8-million. The team's offer was $6-million.

Reds: Brandon Phillips, who joined Alfonso Soriano as the only second basemen in the majors to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases, agreed to a $27-million, four-year deal.

Rockies: Reliever Brian Fuentes lost his arbitration case, getting $5.05-million rather than his requested $6.5-million.

FAST FACTS

Toronto Blue Jays

Spring training skinny

First workout for pitchers and catchers: 2 p.m. today

Position players begin workouts: Thursday

Location: Bobby Mattick Complex (1700 Solon Ave., Dunedin)

Tickets: (727) 733-9302 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Box office at Knology Park (373 Douglas Ave, Dunedin) or bluejays.com.

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