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Steinbrenner ready to go in 2010

George Steinbrenner is looking forward to the start of the upcoming baseball season. "I am. Aren't you?" the 79-year-old owner of the Yankees said with a smile Friday.

Steinbrenner, whose team will try to earn a 28th world championship in 2010, spent four hours in his office at the team's complex in Tampa, Fla., where individual spring training tickets went on sale. About 150 fans were in line when ticket windows opened.

The Yankees' 2009 World Series championship trophy, which was taken to Steinbrenner's home for him to see earlier this week, was on display outside the ballpark.

Steinbrenner said the Yankees are in position for what could be another "special" season this year and that he is "feeling good."

A group of former players taking part in a Yankees fantasy camp - including David Wells, Lee Mazzilli and Mickey Rivers - spent time with Steinbrenner in his office.

Steinbrenner uses a wheelchair because of bad knees and has made few public appearances in recent years. He attended the first two games of the World Series against Philadelphia but watched the Game 6 clincher from his Tampa home.

Yanks lose court case

A court in the Dominican Republic ordered the Yankees to pay more than $750,000 to Carlos Rios, their former director of Latin American scouting, for what it ruled was his unlawful firing.

In court papers examined Friday by The Associated Press, Judge Alexis Gomez Geraldino found in favor of Rios, who was fired in August 2008 for allegedly skimming $100,000 in bonus money from Yankees prospect Kelvin De Leon.

The judge said the accusations against Rios were based on rumor and ordered the Yankees to pay him $762,878 in damages. The team plans to appeal.

- AP

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