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 TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -Joe Girardi was summoned upstairs for the first time.
The new manager of the New York Yankees met Sunday with owner George Steinbrenner, who hadn't spoken with Girardi since the former catcher interviewed for the job last October.
``It was great to see him. He was doing well,'' Girardi said after Sunday's session at Legends Field.
Girardi was accompanied by spring training instructors Goose Gossage and Ron Guidry, coach Rob Thomson and general manager Brian Cashman. The Yankees haven't lost any games since Girardi was hired, so the atmosphere was jovial as Gossage and Guidry told old stories.
``We were joking a little bit and we were laughing, so it was good,'' Girardi said. ``He's just encouraging us to do what we always do here. So, Mr. Steinbrenner was great.''
ular contact with the owner.
Girardi chose ``27'' as his number, a message that the goal is to win the Yankees' 27th World Series title.
``I'm thankful for what he allowed me to do, not just sitting in this chair but as a player, as a broadcaster with the club, as a coach,'' Girardi said. ``Obviously you'd love to be able to repay for what he's done for my life.
Making a rare weekend appearance at Legends Field, Steinbrenner congratulated Gossage for his election last month into the Hall of Fame. According to Cashman, he asked Girardi about ``G.I. Joe'' headlines, referring to strenuous running early in spring training.
As Girardi discussed the meeting in his post-workout interview, he was a bit surprised when his office phone rang - the same phone Joe Torre picked up so often when Steinbrenner called.
``That's the first time the phone's rang, that I know of,'' Girardi said. ``I wouldn't really know how to answer it.''
lina State will not pitch this season. ... A video on a phone of Brackman being dunked on when he played college basketball made the rounds around the clubhouse. ``It isn't fair,'' Brackman said with a smile.

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