- Associated Press - Friday, December 3, 2010

STAMFORD, CONN. (AP) - New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman repeatedly scaled down the outside of one of Stamford’s tallest buildings, but he wasn’t going too far out on a limb in discussing contract talks with star players.

Cashman descended the 22-story Landmark Building in Stamford five times on Friday morning, strapped into a safety harness for a practice run before a holiday show with Santa on Sunday. He’ll be dressed as an elf.

Cashman called the feat exciting, but admitted he was scared while descending about 300 feet from the roof. Accompanied be an experienced climber, Cashman agreed to participate after seeing the event last year. He trained on a 37-foot rock climbing wall.

“I was thinking of the Batman and Robin stuff,” Cashman said. “It’s pretty incredible. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime.”

He said the Yankees hope to sign shortstop Derek Jeter to a new contract, noting both sides are working hard to try to find common ground. He said the team wants to keep Jeter and reliever Mariano Rivera.

Cashman would not comment on reports that the Yankees were close to signing Rivera.

“We’d like to obviously have both of those guys back, no doubt about it, and try to find a way to improve the club at the same time,” Cashman said.

He said pitcher Andy Pettitte told him at the end of the season he was leaning toward retirement.

Cashman descended quicker during a second run down the building. He wore reindeer antlers on top of a wig of spiked hair.

“I wouldn’t let any players do that,” he said. “I’m replaceable.”

Cashman would not comment on specific players the Yankees may seek to acquire.

“I’ve reached out to some players that are obvious, some players that people would be surprised about,” Cashman said.

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