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10/04/09 7:00 PM EST

Boss visits Yanks before season finale

Steinbrenner spends an hour in visitors' clubhouse at Trop

ST. PETERSBURG -- With the Yankees wrapping up their regular-season slate on Sunday with a 10-2 win over the Rays, principal owner George Steinbrenner dropped in with a few words of motivation for his playoff-bound club.

Steinbrenner spent about an hour with the Yankees in the visitors' clubhouse at Tropicana Field before their regular-season finale, making the trip from his home in Tampa, Fla.

"It was really great to see him," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said."Everyone came in and saw him. He was in great spirits. It was good."

Steinbrenner, 79, also attended the Yankees' 6-2 win on July 29 in St. Petersburg, and he was at the new Yankee Stadium for the opener on April 16. Steinbrenner told The Associated Press that he is "excited" for the upcoming postseason.

Girardi said that after Tuesday's game, Steinbrenner arranged a team party at a New York steakhouse, which the players appreciated. Girardi summarized Steinbrenner's message to the team as: "Just keep going -- keep doing what we're doing."

Steinbrenner is not expected to travel to New York for the American League Division Series, but he will likely be in attendance for selected games if the AL East-champion Yankees advance to the AL Championship Series. In addition to Steinbrenner, general partner Jennifer Steinbrenner-Swindal and senior vice president Felix Lopez made clubhouse appearances on Sunday.

Hal Steinbrenner stated earlier this week that his father is planning to be present if the World Series is played in the Bronx.

"That's the plan, particularly if -- and when, I should say -- we make it to the World Series," Hal Steinbrenner said recently. "He'll absolutely be here."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.