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Catcher Jorge Posada, seated in the from row Tuesday along with Jeter, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera, felt for Rodriguez when the star third baseman took a 37-second pause before thanking teammates.
"He just got emotional. I think everybody in that room knew what he was going through at that point. It's tough to look at your teammates in the eye, and tell them, you know, `I'm sorry,'" Posada said.
Posada left midway through the news conference because he had to take his family to the airport. More than 20 players attended, and most stayed until the end.
"I think that he'll be good," said Pettitte, who had a similar confessional news conference last year. "I think he'll be able to put it behind him. I know we're all hoping and pulling for it, that's for sure."
Notes: Hideki Matsui, recovering from left knee surgery on Sept. 22, will be limited to DH duty during spring training, manager Joe Girardi said. Matsui won't start running until next week. ... Switch-hitting Mark Teixeira will bat third, followed by Rodriguez. The lefty-swinging Matsui is a possibility for the No. 5 slot. "You got one of the best players in the history of baseball hitting behind you, I think you're going to get some good pitches to hit," Teixeira said. ... 2B Robinson Cano reiterated that he will play for the Dominican Republic in next month's World Baseball Classic. Melky Cabrera, competing with Brett Gardner to play center, will not play for the DR and RHP Alfredo Aceves will not play for Mexico.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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