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Hal Steinbrenner defends contract extension policy

TAMPA, Fla. - Calling himself "stubborn," Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner defended his organization's policy on not extending contracts.

"People just have to understand that everybody conducts business in a different way," Steinbrenner said Tuesday at the Stadium. "I just don't believe in contract extensions. And that's throughout the organization. Hopefully nobody takes that personally. It's just business."

The policy has been discussed all spring as Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Joe Girardi each enter the final year of contracts.

"I've got a great relationship with them all," Steinbrenner said. "I've expressed to all of them that they're a part of the Yankee family."

Steinbrenner said it's just what he believes in.

"I'm just not big on exceptions," he said. "You can ask. I think it opens too many doors. I'm just a stubborn guy. I stick to policy."


Extra work pays

Nick Johnson has been working with hitting coach Kevin Long on pulling inside pitches, a process that started during the winter when Long saw video of the designated hitter. Johnson, who visited Long in Arizona during the offseason, pulled two homers to right Tuesday.

"It was striking that his back foot was sliding out and collapsing," Long said. "I thought that was one of the first areas we'd address. What I felt when I looked at it was he was going to get to the inside pitch."


Cervelli improving

Joe Girardi said Francisco Cervelli, after receiving the all-clear from a neurologist Monday, should play Friday.

Cervelli, beaned on Saturday, said he was still feeling low on energy but, "it's better than [Monday] so I think [today] it will be 100 percent."


Extra bases

Chan Ho Park, whose Monday batting practice session was pushed to Tuesday because of a sore glute, said he felt "very good," after throwing 35 pitches . . . Edwar Ramirez, designated for assignment last week when Park officially signed, was traded to the Rangers for cash considerations . . . Women in Sports and Events (WISE) announced that Yankees assistant general manager Jean Afterman was one of the recipients of the 2010 WISE Women of the Year Award.


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