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Girardi: Panama trip won't disrupt normal spring

Girardi: Panama trip won't disrupt normal spring

VIERA, Fla. -- The Yankees' Grapefruit League schedule will be interrupted this coming weekend with a trip to Panama to play the two-game "Legend Series" against the Marlins. On both Saturday and Sunday, the Yanks will have one squad playing there and another back in Florida, but manager Joe Girardi doesn't think the situation will cause any problems.

"The issues you have to work out is you basically have split squads every day, in a sense, so you have to call some kids up from the Minor Leagues," Girardi said on Tuesday before the Yankees played the Nationals at Space Coast Stadium. "They like that."

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The Panama series, to be played at Panama City's Rod Carew Stadium, will honor retired closer and Panama native Mariano Rivera. Yankees players headed there include Derek Jeter, Brian McCann, Brett Gardner, Carlos Beltran and Alfonso Soriano, while Adam Warren and CC Sabathia will start on the mound.

"I think the guys are excited to go for Mo," Girardi said.

While some have wondered if Rivera could get back on the mound there, Girardi's understanding is that the 44-year-old's involvement will be "all ceremonial." The Yankees skipper did have one idea, however.

"I thought he should play an inning in center [field]," Girardi joked.

The other group of Yankees will face the Orioles on Saturday in Sarasota, Fla., and then host the Braves on Sunday in Tampa. Jacoby Ellsbury and Mark Teixeira will be among the players available for those games, and Masahiro Tanaka is slated to start on Sunday.

Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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