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Around the Empire: Yankees News - 3/22/15

Getting to know the new vice president of player operations, and former Derek Jeter mentor, Gary Denbo. Plus, happy Michael Pineda and spider Brett Gardner

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports | Brandon Kuty: After long-time vice president of player operations Mark Newman retired this offseason, the Yankees turned to Gary Denbo; Derek Jeter's first professional coach in 1993. Jeter and Denbo worked together again before the captain's second half tear in 2011. If Denbo can help some other veteran superstars in the clubhouse find late-career hot streaks, the Yankees will be much better for it.

New York Post | Kevin Kernan: More Denbo. As the Yankees improve the environment and infrastructure around the Tampa complex, Denbo is looking to get a similar step from from the players on leadership and accountability. A key part of his plan, bringing Yankee leaders from the championship era to speak to the players. Greg Bird and Aaron Judge seem to approve.

LoHud Yankees Blog | Chad Jennings: Michael Pineda may have given up two runs yesterday, but he also struck out six in less than four innings pitched. Nobody is surprised, because Pineda is awesome. More importantly, Pineda is happy with where he is at this point. Also, in his daily roundup Chad Jennings covers how the Yankees may be lining up the opening day rotation, positivity about Didi Gregorius getting a hit of a lefty for a second straight day, and yet more Aaron Judge.

LoHud Yankees Blog | Chad Jennings: Brett Gardner scaled over an outfield wall in the middle of a game to retrieve Chris Young's glove-in-distress. This is a thing that actually happened. We have no video evidence because the game was not televised. Oh, and also, Joe Girardi is not thrilled with Gardner exposing himself to a potentially unnecessary injury. I don't know, the two may be related.