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Around the Empire: Yankees News - 2/22/19

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Brett Gardner wants to play beyond 2019; Adam Ottavino impresses in simulated game; Thairo Estrada is ready to move on after suffering gunshot wound; Yankees temporarily lift their long hair ban.

Divisional Round - New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox - Game Two Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

George A. King III | New York Post: King breaks down the mindset of Brett Gardner heading into the season, including his no-brainer decision to stay with the Yanks, the frustration of going 10 years without a World Series title, and his desire to play beyond 2019.

Erik Boland | Newsday: How many runners did the Yankees’ newest reliever allow in a simulated game on Thursday? Check the back of his jersey for that answer. Adam Ottavino demonstrated his talent down in Florida, facing three fellow Yankees and recording four strikeouts (Gleyber Torres, Luke Voit and Tyler Wade twice). Nice first impression! Now try that against Babe Ruth.

Brendan Kuty | NJ.com: Kuty puts together a nice feature on Yankees prospect Thairo Estrada, and his road back since suffering a gunshot wound last year. With the bullet removed from his thigh, Estrada is optimistic about getting back into a baseball groove this season.

Michael Clair | Cut4: For one day only, the Yankees decided to be fun and ditch their absurd hair policy. The team donned a number of different wigs for Photo Day and posed for some interesting pictures. Didi Gregorius put on a curly haired wig, while Aaron Hicks put on a luscious flow of dreadlocks that made him look like Future from “8 Mile.” It was fun, but only a tease of what could be.