Top Story

State Of The Yankees 7: After Hitting Rock Bottom, Yankees Reel Off Five Straight Wins; Big Week Ahead

Our State of the Yankees column is back for its seventh installment on this Memorial Day with a five-game win streak that has the Bronx Bombers finally resembling the title contenders everyone thought they would be. As always, we want to hear what you have to say about your favorite (or least favorite) team below in the comments section. And check back next Sunday night for the latest from the New York Yankees right here.

  Opening Statement  
Leading up to this past week, the Yankees were simply mediocre, unable to make a move toward the top of the AL East. Mediocre is all well and good at this point in the season for most teams, but the Yankees aren't like most teams, where expectations are always through the roof, and rightfully so. When the team dropped the week's opener to the Royals, getting shutout in the process, not only were the Yankees struggling mightily and failing in every way on their lofty expectations, they were just one loss away from dropping below .500. That big loss to the Royals, however, may have been the ultimate wake up call. Since that game, where the Yankees fell to 21-21 overall, they haven't lost a game. The Yankees won the final two games of a three-game series with the Royals and then swept a three-game set with the Athletics. Heading into Monday night's game with the Angels, the Yankees have moved five games over at 26-21. Not only that, but each starting pitcher won during that time, with Phil Hughes, Andy Pettitte, Ivan Nova, CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda, who was roughed up at the beginning of the week, all pitching the Yankees to victory. That is a great sign. The Yankees are currently two games back of both the Rays and Orioles, and two up on the Blue Jays and two-and-a-half on the Red Sox.

State Of The Mets 7: With Toughest Stretch Coming Up, Mets Take Care Of Business Against Pirates, Padres

Our State of the Mets column is back for its seventh installment on this Memorial Day with a pair of shutouts and a whole lot of winning as the season hits its toughest stretch. As always, we want to hear what you have to say about your favorite (or least favorite) team below in the comments section. And check back next Saturday night for the latest from the Mets.

  Opening Statement  
Since we last updated the State of the Mets a week ago, we talked about limiting cold streaks to survive a season and make a push toward the postseason. The Mets came into this week on the heels of their worst stretch of baseball this season, a cold streak every fan knew had to end soon if the team has any chance of grabbing the NL East or, more likely, one of the two wild card spots. Consider the job done. The Mets answered that terrible streak by going 6-2 dating back to last Sunday. They grabbed the series finale against the Blue Jays, won two of three against the Pirates and beat the Padres three out of four. If the Mets fancy themselves a playoff team they have to beat up on the lower ring teams in the league, and they did that in winning both the San Diego series and Pittsburgh series. The hot streak pushed the Mets six games over .500 after Sunday's game, at 27-21. Mets fans are feeling pretty darn good again as their team is suddenly a true contender in the National League.

State Of The Red Sox 7: Up And Down Week Highlighted By A Benches-Clearing Scrum With Tampa Bay Rays

  By Matt Straub  
Our State of the Red Sox column is back for its seventh installment on this Memorial Day with a literal up and down week including a benches-clearing scrum with the Tampa Bay Rays a positive sign going forward. As always, we want to hear what you have to say about your favorite (or least favorite) team below in the comments section. And check back next week for the latest from the Red Sox right here.

  Opening Statement  
To say it was an up-and-down week for the Red Sox would make a lot of sense. After all, the team’s week went like this: win, loss, win, loss, win, loss. They managed to get two of three from the Baltimore Orioles, a team which has been a problem for the Red Sox for a couple of years now, then missed a great chance to take two of three from the Tampa Bay Rays, which would have looked mighty nice on the resume as Boston made its case that it could be a contender. But hey, at least they won the fight.

Giants WR Hakeem Nicks Breaks Right Foot, Could Miss 12 Weeks

Hakeem Nicks broke his right foot Thursday. (AP photo
The Giants announced some extremely bad news to the fan base today, saying wide receiver Hakeem Nicks broke his right foot during the second day of organized team activities. He is expected to miss 12 weeks, which would have him back on the field in mid-August. That would leave little time for him to get back into playing shape, as the season kicks off September 5 against Dallas.

Nicks, who will have surgery Friday, fractured the fifth metatarsal of his right foot while running a route during individual drills.

Mets Pitching Prospect Zack Wheeler Shows Ace Potential In Double-A

Mets prospect Zack Wheeler in New Britain Wednesday. (Matt Straub)
  By Matt Straub  
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. - The New York Mets have a sense of optimism not held by their fan base in a few years. Mets fans are right to be excited about the future, since the team features so many young players who are making big contributions to the Mets' surprising start.

But perhaps the most exciting thing about the Mets' future is that their best young player isn't even in New York yet. 

It's very easy to get worked up about a minor leaguer who dominates inferior competition. Any Mets fan who saw Zack Wheeler throw the ball Wednesday in New Britain, however, would be unable to contain his enthusiasm. 

State Of The Yankees 6: Andy Pettitte Delivers Vintage Performance, But Offense Still Can't Get The Clutch Hit

Our State of the Yankees column is back for its sixth installment with a vintage performance by Andy Pettitte but another week of failure at the plate in clutch moments. As always, we want to hear what you have to say about your favorite (or least favorite) team below in the comments section. And check back next Sunday night for the latest from the New York Yankees right here.

  Opening Statement  
Take away a masterful performance by Andy Pettitte Friday night, where he pitched eight scoreless innings in a win over the Reds, and this easily would have been the worst stretch of the season for the Yankees. Even with that start by Pettitte, it's hard to argue this isn't the worst patch so far. The Yankees split a two-game series with Baltimore, then got swept two straight by Toronto before losing two of three to Cincinnati in the first interleague series of the year. In all, the Yankees have lost five of their last six and six of their last eight games. The stretch has the Yankees barely above .500 for the season, at 21-20, good enough for fourth place in the AL East, just one game in front of cellar-dwelling Boston. Baltimore has a 5.5-game cushion over the Yankees. The worst part of it all is the Yankees just aren't winning games late this year, which was a former staple (anyone remember pie?). In both losses this weekend against Cincinnati, the Yankees couldn't get the job done late, first falling short in a comeback attempt and then not being able to push across a run in the final innings to back a strong performance by CC Sabathia. The Yankees need to find that magic at some point soon.

State Of The Red Sox 6: Josh Beckett Pitches Like An Ace Again As Boston Hits Pivotal Part Of Its Schedule

  By Matt Straub  
Our State of the Red Sox column is back for its sixth installment with Josh Beckett putting criticism aside and pitching like an ace again and a pivotal stretch on the horizon. As always, we want to hear what you have to say about your favorite (or least favorite) team below in the comments section. And check back next week for the latest from the Red Sox right here.

  Opening Statement  
We’ll get to why I now believe Josh Beckett reads this blog in a second, but first we have to look at the big picture. The Boston Red Sox have begun a critical part of their schedule that features both a difficult slate of games and an important one. The season has reached the quarter pole now, which means, while there’s still all kinds of time left, we’re getting to the point where trends are starting to develop. It’s easy to explain away a bad spell with “it’s only April,” or “it’s only May.” It’s about to be June, however, which means the time for excuses is running out. As the time for the Red Sox to start their climb towards at least the middle of the pack in the AL East, however, the Red Sox ran up against the beginning of one of the toughest parts of their schedule. Believe it or not, the Red Sox have responded. After dispatching Seattle as a warm-up, the Red Sox started the killer three-week run of games by splitting with Tampa Bay and then taking two of three at Philadelphia. There’s three quarters of the season to go, but there is life in the Red Sox yet.

State Of The Mets 6: David Wright Continues To Chase .400 Average In Otherwise Forgettable Week For Mets

Our State of the Mets column is back for its sixth installment with their worst stretch of baseball this season, including two straight bad losses to the Toronto Blue Jays. As always, we want to hear what you have to say about your favorite (or least favorite) team below in the comments section. And check back next Saturday night for the latest from the Mets.

  Opening Statement  
The key to making the playoffs after a long baseball season is to limit the amount of cold streaks a team will naturally go through. That's why the Mets' 2-5 record this week hurts, but isn't a killer by any stretch of the imagination. Of course, this is where limiting the bad streaks comes into play. If the Mets can't play closer to .500 over the next week or two, especially with the Braves, Nationals, Marlins and Phillies in the division, the season can get away from them in a hurry. Luckily, the Mets' hot start to the season has afforded them some room for error. That has included two straight losses to the Toronto Blue Jays, Friday and Saturday, losing 14-5 and 2-0. Still, the Mets are two games over .500 at 21-19 and stand 3.5 games back of the NL East-leading Braves. It's a little early to look at the wild card standings, but the Mets are right at the doorstep in that multi-team race, trailing the Nationals by two games with two other teams. And, oh yeah, there's that minor detail of third baseman David Wright chasing .400. He stands at .409 heading into Sunday against Toronto.

Jets Sign Safety Yeremiah Bell

Yeremiah Bell signed with the Jets today. (AP photo)
The Jets bolstered the safety position again this offseason, bringing aboard former Dolphins strong safety Yeremiah Bell today. He signed a one-year, $1.4 million deal. Right now, he will backup LaRon Landry at the strong spot. Eric Smith still is penciled in as the starter at free safety.

In a perfect world, Bell would move to free safety and take over for Smith, who's simply terrible. But that appears unlikely. At least it should put an end to any thought of bringing back Jim Leonhard, one of the most overrated players in football.

A Look Back At The 2009 NFL Draft, With GameDay's Winners And Losers Column Dissected And Analyzed

Mark Sanchez was the fifth overall pick in 2009. (AP photo)
The sports media, especially those that write about the NFL, love to look back on a team's draft and analyze every single pick. We did it right here on both the Jets and Giants this year. It's even more fun going back a few years and seeing how a team's selections worked out in transitioning to the NFL.

Never, however, as far as I know anyway, has a writer put his own analysis on the line and looked back on all the predictions they may have made following a draft. Until now. I went back to my "winners and losers" column three years ago, after the April 2009 draft, to see exactly how I did in breaking down the first day.

State Of The Yankees 5: All Is Right In Yankee Universe As Andy Pettitte Returns, Plus Cano Finally Heats Up

Our State of the Yankees column is back for its fifth installment with the return of fan favorite Andy Pettitte as all seems right in Yankee Universe despite his loss. As always, we want to hear what you have to say about your favorite (or least favorite) team below in the comments section. And check back next Sunday night for the latest from the New York Yankees right here.

  Opening Statement  
In the first full week without Mariano Rivera as the team's closer there was a host of good moments, one great moment and one terrible moment, which only made everyone talk about the loss of the Yankees' great closer once again. All in all, it was a successful week for the Bombers. The Yankees took two of three against both the Tampa Bay Rays and the Seattle Mariners to end with a 19-15 record, good enough for third place in the AL East. They trail division-leading Baltimore by 2.5 games and the Rays by a game. The good was winning four of six games this week. The bad was new closer David Robertson allowing four ninth-inning runs in a 4-1 loss to Tampa Wednesday. And, finally, the great was the return of Andy Pettitte. Even though he took the loss Sunday afternoon against Seattle, Pettitte brought excitement back to the Stadium, something that has been missing for a long time now. He allowed four runs in six-and-a-third innings, but he looked every bit the pitcher all Yankees fans remember from the past. Pettitte allowed his first hit in the fourth inning, but it was a two-run home run to put the Yankees behind. He allowed another two-run shot in the sixth and his teammates didn't do enough with their bats to erase those runs in a 6-2 defeat. Of course, the loss was secondary as Pettitte was cheered before, during and after his start. He's brought stability to the rotation, which is what the Yankees desperately need if they want to make a run at a title.

State Of The Red Sox 5: Josh Beckett's Golf Outing Has Boston Fans Booing, Close To Wearing Out His Welcome

  By Matt Straub  
Our State of the Red Sox column is back for its fifth installment with the golf outing heard round the world, with Josh Beckett doing his best to turn the Boston faithful against him. As always, we want to hear what you have to say about your favorite (or least favorite) team below in the comments section. And check back next week for the latest from the Red Sox right here.

  Opening Statement  
The 2012 Red Sox are playing with the emotions of Red Sox Nation. Or perhaps they are just motivated by desperate times. Every time the fans are ready to give up on the team and demand changes, the Red Sox get hot and convince you to give them one more week before you give up on them. I’ve said it before, but it’s becoming a trend with this team. There are signs of life, but only when there are bigger signs of despair first. This week was a perfect example. It started with a win, then a pair of crushing losses to the Kansas City Royals, who are not exactly the cream of the crop in the American League. Things looked as bleak as ever, as the pitching staff couldn’t get any help from an offense that had forgotten how to be clutch. Just when the year looked lost, however, the Red Sox came home to play the Indians. We’ll get to “Golfgate” in a second, but the loss Josh Beckett took to start that series looked like the end. Then came three great wins and renewed hope.

State Of The Mets 5: David Wright Has Mets Rolling After Near Perfect Week, Including Big Sweep Of Phillies

Our State of the Mets column is back for its fifth installment with what could have been the best stretch of the season so far, including an epic sweep of the rival Phillies. As always, we want to hear what you have to say about your favorite (or least favorite) team below in the comments section. And check back next Saturday night for the latest from the Mets.

  Opening Statement  
A week ago we were writing about the Mets possibly beginning the trek back to what we all thought they would be entering the season, where mediocre would be welcomed. But the Mets put the three-game sweep to the Astros behind them in a big way, taking two of three from Arizona, then sweeping the Phillies, before splitting the first two games against Miami. The Mets won five straight games from Saturday through Wednesday, with the streak breaker coming only after a blown save by Frank Francisco Friday against the Marlins. After Saturday's win over Miami, the Mets are 19-14 on the season, good enough for third place in the tough NL East. The National (21-12) and the Braves (21-13) lead the division. Fans couldn't have asked for a better start to the season than the one the Mets have given so far.

Andy Pettitte To Start Sunday Against Mariners In Return To Big Leagues

Andy Pettitte will start Sunday for the Yankees. (AP photo)
When Andy Pettitte announced he was going to make a comeback with the Yankees this season, no one could have imagined his return would be a necessity more than a luxury. But with the injury to Michael Pineda and the overall struggles of every starting pitcher not named CC Sabathia, that's exactly the case.

The Yankees announced Tuesday that Pettitte will return to the big league club and make his first start in more than a year Sunday against the Seattle Mariners. Pettitte has been pitching in the minor leagues, his latest outing coming last Sunday, and obviously both he and the team believe he's ready to return.

State of the Red Sox 4: Momentum Crashes, Including Adrian Gonzalez Striking Out Against A DH In Loss

  By Matt Straub  
Our State of the Red Sox column is back for its fourth installment with momentum lost and a designated hitter shutting down the Boston bats in a 17-inning loss to end the week. As always, we want to hear what you have to say about your favorite (or least favorite) team below in the comments section. And check back next week for the latest from the Red Sox right here.

  Opening Statement  
The Red Sox came into the week soaring. They were also coming home for a week’s worth of games at friendly Fenway against what was supposed to be inferior competition in Oakland and a Baltimore squad which was owed a beating by what should have been an angry bunch of Bostonians after the way 2011 ended. What the homestand ended up being, however, was a stretch of games that just got more disappointing as the days went on.

State of the Yankees 4: Sadness Surrounding Mariano Rivera Injury Still At Forefront For Yankees

Our State of the Yankees column is back for its fourth installment with the most depressing news to hit the team and its fans in a long, long time as Mariano Rivera is lost for the season with a torn ACL. As always, we want to hear what you have to say about your favorite (or least favorite) team below in the comments section. And check back next Sunday night for the latest from the New York Yankees right here.

  Opening Statement  
This was supposed to be the week the Yankees took advantage of a couple of inferior opponents and make their move toward the top of the AL East standings. But in the midst of the seven-game stretch, the Yankees suffered perhaps their biggest loss in years, maybe decades. The great Mariano Rivera tore his ACL during batting practice before Thursday's series opener against Kansas City. He was shagging fly balls when he landed awkwardly at the warning track when leaping for the fly ball. He most likely will miss the entire season. It was a sad day not only for the Yankees, but baseball as a whole. Not surprisingly, Rivera said in no uncertain terms his career isn't over and he will return, which all fans can celebrate. David Robertson will step in as the team's closer this season, but it will be surreal when there is no Mariano coming out of the bullpen in a major moment this season. The Yankees went 3-4 against the Orioles and Royals this week, salvaging a four-game split against the latter with a big win Sunday afternoon. They are 15-13 overall and in fourth place in the AL East, 3.5 games behind both the Rays and Orioles and three back of the Blue Jays.

State Of The Mets 4: Bad Week Has Positive End, With Johan Santana Winning For First Time In 20 Months

Our State of the Mets column is back for its fourth installment with some very bad losses, a sweep at the hands of the Houston Astros and a big win late to stay above the .500 mark. As always, we want to hear what you have to say about your favorite (or least favorite) team below in the comments section. And check back next Saturday night for the latest from the Mets.

  Opening Statement  
This might have been the worst week of the season for the Mets, with a three-game sweep at the hands of the Astros the lowlight of the stretch. As everyone knows, if the Mets want to remain in the playoff hunt this season, they can not get swept by one of the National League's bottom dwellers. The Mets compounded the problem by following the sweep by the Astros with an opening series loss to the Diamondbacks Friday night. But Saturday night's game against Arizona may be a springboard to a big week ahead. The Mets won the game 4-3 with Johan Santana winning for the first time in 20 months. That has to be a huge motivator for both the team and their ace. It also meant the team goes back over the .500 mark for the season, at 14-13. The Mets haven't dropped below .500 yet this season. The Mets are in third place in the NL East, four games behind the Nationals and two games behind the Braves.

As News Of Mariano Rivera's Injury Sinks In, Don't Bet Against A Return

Mariano Rivera after his injury. (YES Network photo)
The news that Yankees great Mariano Rivera had a torn ACL and would most likely be lost for the season didn't sink in right away. It was too sudden and too shocking to think about the future, a season without the all-time legend coming out of the bullpen to close out another game, another championship.

Rivera has seemingly always been there for the Yankees and their fans, willing and able to do anything needed of him, no matter the circumstance. So, maybe the preliminary reports that Joe Girardi told reporters after the loss to the Royals were just that, preliminary. The true news would be something less severe and all would be fine with Rivera and the Yankees.

Then, Rivera spoke.

Emotional Mariano Rivera Talks About Injury, Letting His Team Down

Mariano Rivera is most likely out for the season. (YES network photo)
It was an emotional scene in the Yankees locker room in Kansas City as closer Mariano Rivera spoke with the media after learning he has a torn ACL and will most likely miss the rest of the season. He also has a torn meniscus. Rivera was emotional and fought off tears as he talked about letting the team down.

"It's more mental than physical," Rivera said of the aftermath of the injury. "You feel like you let the team down."

Rivera had trouble keeping his emotions in check after that, realizing that he wouldn't be there to help lead this team to another world championship.

Mariano Rivera Tears His ACL, Will Most Likely Miss The Rest Of Season

Mariano Rivera tore his ACL tonight. (YES Network photo)
The New York Yankees and their fans received just about the worst possible news anyone could have imagined - Mariano Rivera has a torn ACL and will most likely miss the entire season. Manager Joe Girardi made the announcement after the Yankees lost to the Royals Thursday night.

Girardi did say it was a preliminary report, but either way, it's not good for Rivera or the Yankees.

Rivera is the greatest closer in the history of baseball and one of the most dominate pitchers of all-time. Last year he set the all-time saves record and this year hinted he might retire at season's end. It would be terrible if Rivera's great career ends this way.

Junior Seau Dies From Gunshot Wound, Police Investigating Suicide

Junior Seau was found dead in his home today. (AP photo)
Police have confirmed that former Chargers, Dolphins and Patriots linebacker Junior Seau was found dead in his home this morning of an apparent suicide. Seau die from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Police said Seau's girlfriend called police this morning after finding him with a gunshot wound to the chest. The police and fire departments responded to the scene and located Seau in a bedroom. They performed live saving efforts that were unsuccessful. Police said the case is being investigated as a suicide. A handgun was found near the body.

Jonathan Vilma Suspended For Year, This Time Roger Goodell Goes Too Far

Jonathan Vilma was suspended for the year. (AP photo)
Let me preface this by writing that I've completely agreed with the suspensions handed out by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, especially with the year-long ban of Saints coach Sean Payton in the aftermath of the bounty system involving the team, up to this point.

But, and this is a big but, Goodell went way too far when dealing with Saints players today. Jonathan Vilma, a former Jet, was suspended for the entire year by the league. In addition to Vilma, Anthony Hargrove was suspended eight games, Will Smith for four games and Scott Fujita for three games for their roles in the bounty system that also saw former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams banned indefinitely.