Baseball

Torre to Jeter: U R special 2 me

Joe Torre offered his congratulations to Derek Jeter in the New York Yankees star’s preferred form of communication: via text message.

Torre said Saturday he’d reached out to Jeter, who on Friday night broke the Yankees’ 72-year-old career hits record held by Lou Gehrig. Torre, in his second season as skipper of the Los Angeles Dodgers, was Jeter’s manager in the Bronx from 1996-2007 and still holds fond feelings of the their time together.

“I communicated with him. I didn’t call him,” Torre said before the Dodgers played the archrival San Francisco Giants. “I heard back. I texted him. That’s his favorite thing. I’ve got to get into that young stuff.”

Torre praised the 35-year-old Jeter’s professionalism and leadership – not to mention his talent.

“He’s a special kid,” Torre said. “The person he is, to me, means a great deal. That’s really something to be proud of, the respect he has for the game and his teammates. He’s a leader but not that ‘rah, rah.’ ”

Jeter broke Gehrig’s record with an opposite-field single to right in the third inning against Baltimore at Yankee Stadium for his 2,722th career hit, and he later added two more to his total. The milestone came in Jeter’s 15th big league season, all spent with the Yankees.

He became the sixth career hits leader for the club since the Highlanders completed their first season, following Willie Keeler (1903-11), Hal Chase (1911-22), Wally Pipp (1922-29), Babe Ruth (1929-37) and Gehrig (1937-09), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

“He’s a lot of things in that clubhouse,” Torre said. “His consistency, if you’re a manager, you count on. He doesn’t have the power I know that George (Steinbrenner) likes to refer to as a Yankee. … Just the tenacity, the determination. He’s not afraid to win.”

Short hops

San Francisco Giants ace Tim Lincecum threw a successful bullpen session Saturday and could return to the mound as soon as Monday after missing his last start with back trouble. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he would announce today whether Lincecum, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, will pitch Monday in the opener of a key series with the NL wild card-leading Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park. … Astros left-hander Mike Hampton, on the disabled list since Aug. 14, scheduled his left shoulder surgery for Tuesday in New York.

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