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New York Yankee Notes: Dave Eiland Denies Rift With Girardi

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When it comes to the New York Yankees, there is always something going on. Today is no exception, so here are some Yankees stories to entertain before you sit down to watch NFL action this afternoon.

Eiland calls ESPN report "absolutely ridiculous"
EIland broke his silence on Saturday, telling the Daily News that an ESPNNewYork.com report that said the pitching coach's relationship with manager Joe Girardi was the primary reason for his departure from the team.

The ESPNNewYork.com report cited "a person with knowledge of the relationship" as saying that Eiland felt his opinions were "de-emphasized" after he rejoined the team in late-June.

In his first public comments since Cashman's announcement, Eiland said the report couldn’t have been further from the truth.

"That's absolutely ridiculous and simply not true," Eiland told the Daily News in an e-mail. "Joe and I have never had a problem nor do we now. He's a solid baseball man and a great manager, and more importantly one of the best human beings I have ever met."

Eduardo Nunez taking over for Derek Jeter at shortstop is part of the Yankees plan for the future
Though no one in the Yankee high command is ever going to even speculate about the future after 2011 - especially with the very sensitive contract negotiations with Jeter about to get underway – but it's becoming increasingly clear the plan is to phase out Jorge Posada next season when his contract expires, opening up the DH slot for Alex Rodriguez, thereby allowing Jeter to move to third, making room for a more athletic shortstop, which would be the 24-year-old Venezuelan, Nunez, who hit .289 with 50 RBI and 23 stolen bases in 118 games at Triple-A Scranton this season.

So what's the deal with Nunez? Is he the real deal? Here's what a couple of scouts had to say about him - and Montero.

"Nunez is your consummate 'tools' guy," said the first scout. "He's got a plus arm, he can hit, has some pop and can run. He has a tendency, however, to get lackadaisical in the field and he needs to learn not to chase so many pitches."

"Do I think Nunez can be a 'plus' major league shortstop?" asked the other scout. "Yes, but he's still got a lot to learn. The ability's there. Will he perform to it? I don't know. I'm just not sure about the makeup. (Robinson) Cano was the same way when he was that age, and he grew up. It says a lot for Nunez that he batted third most of the season at Triple-A. He hit a lot of mistakes which he won't see that much of in the majors."

What’s left for the Yankees? | The Lohud Yankees Blog
One week ago, Brian Cashman said re-signing Joe Girardi would be the "first order of business" this offseason. Now that it’s done, the Yankees can get to work on the rest of the list.

Cashman: "It’s about what they can do in that win column" | The Lohud Yankees Blog
"I would like to always get younger and better," Cashman said. "That’s the double-edged sword. I don’t want to get younger and worse. I want to get younger, but while doing so, remain championship caliber. I think that’s what we’ve been trying to accomplish the last few year. I think we’ve done a good job. At the same time, if we have older players who can still do it for us, I don’t have any problem whatsoever in retaining older players who perform at a high level.

"It’s a combination of things. You’d love to get younger and cheaper and better, but a lot of times that’s not possible. If there are older players who can help us accomplish the team goal of winning, then so be it. We’re not going to be interested in getting players just because of future milestones. It’s about what they can do in that win column. That’s the main reason we’re in this.

"I know when I first started here as an intern and worked my way up, there was a little bit of a belief that the stars put he fannies in the seats. That’s not true. The stars don’t put the fannies in the seats. The teams that win do. You can have some of the biggest names all you want, but if it’s a bad team, people will stop showing up come July. They’ll choose to do other things, whether it’s go to the beach or anything else.

"Ultimately, it’s about winning as many games as possible and trying to make the playoffs. If we have a team that people can come out and see win a lot of games, then people will be interested in showing up and turning this place into the place to be in New York City. And that’s what we want to keep going."

Brandon Laird: In the outfield and on the radar | The Lohud Yankees Blog
Brandon Laird might have been the breakout star of the Yankees minor league system this year. As a 27th-round pick, he's never been considered a sure thing, but he’s consistently hit and hit for power.