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Steinbrenner 'pretty excited'
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02/16/2004  3:55 PM ET
Steinbrenner 'pretty excited'
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TAMPA -- Just after the deal sending Alex Rodriguez to the New York was finalized, Yankees principal owner George Steinbrenner emerged at the team's minor league development complex sporting a multimillion-dollar smile.

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"I'm pretty excited," Steinbrenner said. "This is a big, big one."

Steinbrenner had talked to Rangers owner Tom Hicks, who Steinbrenner said also was quite pleased.

"It's a good deal for all parties and that's the best kind of deal," Steinbrenner said. "It's good for Texas and it's good for us."

Steinbrenner said he was not going to New York for Tuesday's news conference to present A-Rod in pinstripes, but was sending his son, Hal, his son-in-law, Steve Swindal, Joe Torre and Derek Jeter from Tampa.

Jeter will stay at shortstop, Steinbrenner said.

"Jeter is the captain, he's the leader," Steinbrenner said. "Derek will be alright."

Rodriguez is moving to third base, where he started in the 2001 All-Star Game after moving over in honor of Cal Ripken's last Midsummer Classic. Steinbrenner said Rodriguez approved the change with the Yankees.

"I'm impressed," Steinbrenner said. "He's an outstanding young man. He will be very big in New York."

As far as the Yankees' rivalry with the Red Sox, Steinbrenner said the race is far from over.

"They're a great team," Steinbrenner said. "It's going to be a tough time."

Paul C. Smith is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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