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What's On Tap: Yankees Travel To Fenway Park For Three Games With Red Sox In Always-Big Rivalry Series
There’s no rest for the weary in Boston. Not with the New York Yankees coming to town. For New York, there’s no chance to catch your breath after a big series with Tampa and the loss of Ivan Nova, perhaps for the season. Not with a trip to Fenway in the cards. The best rivalry in baseball starts up again Tuesday night, featuring two teams looking to get some momentum. It’s too early to worry about the long-term affects of a series in April, but with each team trying to shake it’s own issues at the moment, the team which wins this series will be in better shape.

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Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down: Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Alfonso Soriano Are Up, Ivan Nova, Cesar Cabral, Kelly Johnson Down
It's not all good news for the Yankees, however, as Ivan Nova could be lost for the season after suffering a partial tear in his UCL. He could be facing Tommy John surgery, which would force him to sit a year out. That would be a horrible break for the Yankees and Nova, who had a great season a year ago. With that injury as one of the storylines from the previous week, here is the best and worst performances of the past seven days, with our 3 Up & 3 Down feature.

Yankees What's On Tap: AL East Heavyweights Clash For Four Games As Yankees Take On Rays In Tampa
The Yankees are three games over .500 and hold first place in the AL East, a half-game over Toronto. It's still beyond early in the season, but it doesn't hurt to be on top at any point. Tampa Bay, on the other hand, comes limping into this series, losing three straight and having lost five of eight on their road trip. The Rays are 7-8 on the season. Along with the Red Sox, the Yankees and Rays are the heavyweights of the AL East, so this should be an early barometer of just how good the teams are and how the division could shake out. Here is a closer look at the four-game series in Tampa Bay.

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Yankees What's On Tap: Always Special When Yankees And Cubs Play, Even If It's Just A Two-Game Series
The New York Yankees will get an extra day off to prepare for a quick, two-game series with the Chicago Cubs, as the rain that hit Tuesday washed out the scheduled game and set up a day-night doubleheader for Wednesday. That development, however, will actually play against the Yankees, as doubleheaders typically end in splits.

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Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down: Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, Michael Pineda Are Up, Vidal Nuno, Brian Roberts, Francisco Cervelli Down
The importance of the New York Yankees taking three of four games from the Boston Red Sox cannot be overstated. It was a huge statement that needed to be made for a number of reason. The obvious was taking an early shot against the defending world champions. More in depth, however, was putting last year behind them, as the Red Sox won 13 of the 19 games between the rivals a season ago. Now, the Yankees have moved to 7-6 on the season and are tied with the Rays and Blue Jays for first place in the AL East. The Red Sox are 5-8 on the year, with the Yankees already hanging three losses on them.

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Yankees What's On Tap: Biggest Series Of Season Up Next As Boston Red Sox Come Into Yankee Stadium
Of course, no matter the records or trends, this rivalry has a whole different meaning than playing the Orioles or Rangers. This is where fans truly start to learn about their team and which players, especially the new ones, will begin to craft their value when playing in big moments. Coming up with a big pitching performance or having a great night at the plate means a lot more when it's against Boston, or the Yankees for that matter. It all begins in this new season Thursday night as the Red Sox and Yankees play four games at the Stadium. Here is a closer look at the series.

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Yankees What's On Tap: Yankees Open Home Schedule With Three Games Against Baltimore Orioles
With a 3-3 record after the first week, the three-game set with the Orioles starts off an important, early-season home stretch that includes games with Baltimore, Boston and the Chicago Cubs. Here is a closer look at the first home series of the year for the Yankees, as the Orioles come into town for three games.

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Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down: Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Yangervis Solarte Up, Mark Teixeira, Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Beltran Down
There was a lot of good and even some history made this week. Masahiro Tanaka looks like the real deal, even if it's just one start. Michael Pineda had a tremendous return to the mound, even though he was saddled with the loss because of a non-existent offense. Yangervis Solarte is batting .471 with four doubles and five RBI, the best offensive player so far. For history, Derek Jeter passed Paul Molitor for eighth place on the all-time hits list Sunday, moving his overall number to 3,320.

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Yankees What's On Tap: Masahiro Tanaka Makes Debut As Yankees Travel To Toronto For Three Games
Leaving Houston with a victory completely changes the mindset of the team and fans heading to Toronto for three games with the Blue Jays. It allows the fans to completely engulf themselves in the hype that will come with the pitching debut of Masahiro Tanaka. The Japanese import will make the first start of his Yankees career Friday night in Toronto, something all fans have been looking forward to since he signed a seven-year, $155 million deal in the offseason. He hasn't disappointed in spring training with New York, going 2-0 with a 2.14 ERA over 21 innings, including a 10-strikeout performance in six innings against the Marlins in his final outing. But all that means nothing. Now it counts for real.

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Yankees What's On Tap: Season Opens With Three-Game Series Against Astros In Houston
But winning the offseason means squat if the Yankees can't turn those moves into victories. It all starts Tuesday night against the Astros, as the Bronx Bombers open with three games in Houston. Here's the first installment of our What's On Tap feature, which will continue for ever single series this season.

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While Yankees Reloaded This Winter, Red Sox Decided To Tinker Instead; Only Time Will Tell If That Was Good Or Bad Strategy For World Champs
There’s two ways to look at what was a quiet offseason for the Red Sox. The optimistic approach is to say this is a team which won the World Series last year, so it didn’t need much of a makeover. The pessimistic side points out teams should always be trying to get better, especially big-budget ones like the Red Sox, and it’s a bad sign Boston will take almost the identical team into spring training next week from the one which rode the duck boats down Boylston in November. The winter was most notable for the Red Sox because of what they lost.

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Winners And Losers From Decision To Suspend Alex Rodriguez For 2014 Season, Including A-Rod, Yankees Front Office, MLB, AL East, More
With Alex Rodriguez being suspended for the entire 2014 season, including the postseason, there was many winners and losers in the decision. The obvious loser was Rodriguez himself, as even though his original ban of 211 games was reduced, it' still a huge setback for the Yankees third baseman. There were many winners from the ruling as well, led by Major League Baseball, which has made it a point to make an example of A-Rod and has succeeded. Here we break down the biggest winners and losers from the long-awaited decision that was finally delivered Saturday. We start, of course, with A-Rod.

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Alex Rodriguez Suspended For 2014 Season, A Reduction From Original 211-Game Ban, Will Continue Fight
Alex Rodriguez's 211-game suspension from Major League Baseball was reduced to 162 games plus the postseason Saturday afternoon. The Yankees third baseman was suspended for his connection with Biogenesis. Here is Rodriguez's statement after the announcement:
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Many Question Marks Surround Jacoby Ellsbury After Signing Seven-Year, $153 Million Deal With Yankees
With Jacoby Ellsbury on his way to the Yankees, and the Universe trying to come to terms with it all, I thought it might be a good idea to provide a little bit of a scouting report from the Boston side to help give the signing a little context. First, I agree with what Brad Carroll wrote in his column: If this is the Yankees’ big move this winter, it wasn’t the right one. If there’s more to come, Ellsbury could be a nice complimentary piece. I don’t necessarily believe the Yankees have to get Robinson Cano, but if they don’t, there better be a really good replacement on the way, because Ellsbury isn’t it.

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Yankees Signing Jacoby Ellsbury For Seven Years, $153 Million Is A Home Run If, And Only If, They Plan On Resigning Robinson Cano As Well
On its own, the New York Yankees giving Jacoby Ellsbury seven years and $153 million to play center field isn't something to be excited about. Paying almost $22 million a season for an oft-injured outfielder who is the same type player as the team already has at the position - Brett Gardner - is a bit absurd. Especially considering the team's multiple needs. But this isn't about one signing, no matter the years or the money. This has everything to do with the next signing, and we're not talking about the Yankees adding Kelly Johnson, which is likely the newest player to join the Bronx Bombers on a one-year deal to play third or second base. This has everything to do with Robinson Cano.

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Yankees Sign Brian McCann For Five Years At $85M With Option For Sixth, A Great Deal For New York
The New York Yankees haven't wasted any time in filling one of their biggest needs this offseason, signing free agent catcher Brian McCann to a five-year, $85 million contract that will have an option for a sixth year that could bring the total amount of the deal to $100 million, multiple media outlets are reporting. The deal will have a full no-trade clause. It's pending a physical.

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Yankees Analysis: Who Should Stay And Who Should Go From The Current Yankees Roster As We Play Pay Him Or Slay Him, Including Cano, Granderson, Hughes, Joba, More
With the Yankees not making the playoffs this year, and the much talked about mandate to get the team's payroll to $189 million next season, there is a great chance the 2014 roster will look a lot different than the 2013 version. The decisions made this offseason of who to keep, who to dump and who to target in free agency will go a long way in determining whether or not the Yankees can get back to the postseason. One of those decisions could change the immediate direction of the entire franchise. But before the Yankees make those decisions in the coming weeks, we'll break down exactly what they should do right now, as we play "Pay Him or Slay Him" with those eligible to leave after the season.

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Yankees Five Up & Five Down List As Regular Season Finishes Without Postseason Berth, Including Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Robinson Cano, Alfonso Soriano, CC Sabathia, More
It wasn't a fun end to the season. It wasn't a fun season at all. But this year will always be remembered for two magical moments, ones that will be relived through memories and videos and conversations for years and years to come. The final appearances of Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte was pure perfection, tugging at the heart strings just as much as it made baseball fans everywhere smile with appreciation and amazement.

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Yankees What's On Tap: Andy Pettitte Pitches For Final Time & Mariano Rivera In Outfield Vs. Astros
If it wasn't for watching Andy Pettitte pitch for the final time ever Saturday and the chance of seeing Mariano Rivera play the outfield at some point this weekend, there would be no reason to watch the Yankees three-game series with the Houston Astros starting Friday night.

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After Perfect Ending, Mariano Rivera Exits As One Of Baseball's True Legends, One We Can All Tell Future Generations About Seeing Him Play
There will never be another Mariano Rivera. Just like there will never be another Ruth. Or Mickey Mantle. Or Joe DiMaggio. Or Lou Gehrig. Or Yogi Berra. There's not many players throughout history that can hold that status. Rivera does, now and forever. Most of us never got to see the greatest names of yesteryear play, but we all got to see Rivera. For Yankees fans, it was an almost daily thing. For 19 years, we got to witness greatness. He was a once in a lifetime player. We might not have seen Ruth, Mantle, DiMaggio, Gehrig or Berra play. We saw Rivera, though.

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Yankees On Brink Of Elimination After Another Horrible Defeat Against Tampa Bay
The New York Yankees yet again showed absolutely no desire to win games when it matters most this season, losing to the Tampa Bay Rays 7-0 Tuesday night. The loss puts the team on the brink of elimination from the playoff race, even if the writing was already on the wall. With either one more loss or just one win from Cleveland, this disaster of a season will come to an end for the Yankees.

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Yankees Still Have Hope, Albeit Extremely Slim, To Make Postseason, Here's What Must Happen Over Final Six Games Of The Season To Get In
Barring the biggest of miracles, the New York Yankees will play this final week of the season with nothing on the line. Of course, that's pretty much how they've played this entire month. The Yankees have been unable to make a move up the wild card standings despite every other team in the race faltering around them. There is no fight in this team, and that was never more evident in the Yankees' 2-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants Sunday afternoon, the day the team honored Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte. That humiliating defeat made it nearly impossible for the team to make the postseason this year.

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New Generation Of Yankees Should Be Embarrassed By Their Play, Especially In Letting Down Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera And Fans
The New York Yankees may have finally dug themselves too big a hole to climb out of with their loss Sunday afternoon against the San Francisco Giants. The Yankees, who won two of three in a series they had to sweep, again showed zero heart on offense and went down without a fight, even with the backdrop of celebrating the historic careers of Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte.

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Yankees What's On Tap: Andy Pettitte Announces Retirement Leading Into Must-Sweep Series Against Giants, Plus Wild Card Breakdown
While the New York Yankees head into a must-sweep series with the San Francisco Giants, for real this time, starting Friday night, a huge announcement has taken over Yankees Universe. Andy Pettitte, one of the greatest Yankees pitchers of all time, announced his retirement today. He'll get one more start at home, Sunday, unless the team can somehow make the postseason.

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Yankees Wild Card Breakdown: Yankees Need To Keep Momentum Against Toronto, Plus Who To Root For Tonight As Yanks Chase Wild Card
The Rays hold first place in the wild card standings. The Rangers have the second spot, one game back of Tampa Bay. The Indians are a half-game back, the Orioles are one game back and the Yankees and Royals are tied at 2.5 games back. Here's our daily look at the playoff chase and what has to happen for the Yankees to make their move into postseason position.

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Yankees Wild Card Breakdown: Yankees Need To Show Some Heart As They Chase Playoff Berth, Here's What Must Happen Tonight
The New York Yankees are the most hated team in baseball. They might be the most hated team in all of sports. And after watching the team play over the past three weeks or so, including the past four nights, it's extremely difficult for even the most die-hard Yankees fans not to hate this team right now. How can the real Yankees fan not be extremely disappointed and frustrated and downright angry at the way the team has given away chance after chance to make a move up the standings? If the Yankees had a halfway decent month up to this point, they would be one of the wild card leaders. Instead, they are a huge underdog to even get to third place in the standings.

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Yankees What's On Tap: Another Must-Sweep Series Against Toronto, Plus Breaking Down Wild Card Race
The Yankees start a three-game series at Toronto Tuesday night, just another must-sweep situation. The 1,000 lives the Yankees have had so far has to be extinguished at some point, right? With 12 games to go, the Yankees are going to simply run out of time before having the chance to move up the standings if they don't put together a win streak. Against a bad Toronto team, that must happen right away.

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Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down: Robinson Cano, Brendan Ryan, Alfonso Soriano Trending Up, CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Preston Claiborne Down
The New York Yankees have received so many breaks in their hunt for a wild card spot it's almost unbelievable. The Yankees went 9-8 since their last off day and actually gained two games for the final wild card spot. The Yankees have lost six of seven games to the Red Sox in about a week and a half, and they are still just three games back of both the Rangers and Rays.

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Yankees At Red Sox Preview: Rivalry Continues With Playoff Implications
Even with the two teams out of contention, or more usually when one team is, the two fan bases go crazy over this rivalry. Put two teams in need of wins on the field and throw in the dislike now growing between the rosters, and this series will be as explosive as any this season. The Yankees want revenge for what happened last week in New York while the Red Sox want to be responsible for the demise of Yankee Universe. In the words of the immortal Mills Lane, Let’s get it on.

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Yankees What's On Tap: Must-Win Four-Game Series In Baltimore, Plus Breaking Down Wild Card Hunt
The next biggest series of the season is truly one that will go a long way in determining the final wild card spot, as the Yankees travel to Baltimore for four games against the Orioles. The Rays lead the Orioles and Indians by two games, the Yankees by 2.5 and the Royals by 3.5 in the fight for the final playoff spot. While the Yankees and O's do battle in Baltimore, the Rays will be hosting three games with the Red Sox and the Indians and Royals will be playing each other for three games in Cleveland. Obviously, this is a huge start to the week for those chasing their postseason dreams.

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Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down: Hiroki Kuroda, Robinson Cano, Brett Gardner Trending Up, Huff, Joba, Mariano, Claiborne, Hughes All Down
If it wasn't for the struggles by the Tampa Bay Rays, the New York Yankees would have been knocked out of the playoff hunt altogether after their embarrassingly bad series against the Red Sox to end the past week. The Yankees lost three of four games to rival Boston, and came close to getting swept after the great Mariano Rivera blew his second straight save Sunday afternoon. Luckily for the Yankees, the team came back to beat the Red Sox Sunday, and watched the Rays lose to the Angels Thursday and the first two games against Seattle, keeping them from losing ground in the chase for the final wild card spot. Both teams ended up winning Sunday.

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Yankees Vs. Red Sox Preview: Huge Four-Game Series In Bronx On Tap
This weekend, no explanation is required. The Red Sox are playing the Yankees. The greatest rivalry in sports had lost a bit of its luster in recent season for a number of reasons, but none of those will matter starting tonight. The Red Sox are trying to win the AL East. The Yankees are making a push for the playoffs. The Yankees have been waiting for revenge for the time Ryan Dempster used Alex Rodriguez’s body for target practice. The Red Sox are trying to prove themselves and everyone else they are the dominant team in the division, even as they get closer by the day to wrapping up the pennant.

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Yankees What's on Tap: Must-Sweep Series Against White Sox At Stadium
The New York Yankees dug themselves yet another hole in their playoff chase Sunday, failing to protect a 3-0 lead in the seventh inning and losing to the Orioles. The Yankees still won the series, by taking two of three, which is exactly what the goal was, but when a sweep is possible, you have to take advantage. The Yankees did not and now they stand 3.5 games behind the Rays for the second wild card spot. They've also dropped behind the Orioles and are tied with the Indians.

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Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down: Ivan Nova, Andy Pettitte, Alfonso Soriano Trending Up, Bullpen, Chris Stewart, Derek Jeter Down This Week
In order to keep their postseason quest alive, the New York Yankees had to win at least two of three games from the Orioles this weekend. And they did just that. But in this case, the feeling could not be worse. The Yankees had the golden opportunity to sweep Baltimore Sunday afternoon, leading 3-0 in the seventh inning in the finale of a three-game series. Andy Pettitte exited in the seventh and then all hell broke loose on the bullpen. Seven runs later and the Orioles had their own season-saving victory.

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Yankees What's On Tap: Huge Stretch Begins With Three Against Orioles
The New York Yankees just can't seem to keep momentum on their side in their quest for the postseason. One week the Yankees look like world-beaters, playing so well there's no question the team will pull off the minor miracle and make the playoffs. The next, the Yankees look like they forgot how to play baseball, especially after losing two of three games to the Blue Jays to start this week.

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Yankees What's On Tap: Sweeping 3 In Toronto The Goal For Yankees
The New York Yankees saved their season with an extra-inning victory over the Rays Sunday afternoon, now they get to look forward to making up some ground in the playoff hunt against a team they've owned this season. The Yankees travel to Toronto for the first of three games starting Monday night, playing a Blue Jays team they've beaten 10 straight times and are 12-1 overall against.

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Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down: Robinson Cano, David Huff, Derek Jeter Trending Up, CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Mark Reynolds Down
In a week that ended with the New York Yankees winning five of seven games against the Blue Jays and Rays, it seems almost unreal the team's season was on the brink of destruction Sunday afternoon in Tampa Bay. It was that game, the series finale against the Rays, where a victory would keep the team's playoff chances alive, while a loss would all but end what had become an amazing comeback this season. With a Curtis Granderson sacrifice fly in the 11th inning and then a Mariano Rivera save, the Yankees did indeed extend this season another week, winning 3-2 and taking one of three games against the Rays.

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Yankees What's On Tap: Huge Playoff Implications As Yankees Travel To Tampa Bay For Three With Rays
There isn't a hotter team in baseball right now than the New York Yankees. Not even the Los Angeles Dodgers, who won 42 of 50 games at one point, aren't playing better than the newly rediscovered Bronx Bombers. The Yankees answered perhaps their biggest challenge of the season to start the week, as they swept all four games from the Toronto Blue Jays. The challenges only get bigger from here.

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Yankees What's On Tap: Toronto Comes Into Stadium For Four Games
The New York Yankees have responded since their season was put on life support after getting swept by the Chicago White Sox earlier this month. Since that depressing three-game setback, the Yankees have won consecutive series over the Tigers, Angels and Red Sox to put themselves back in the postseason hunt. The latter series also may have finally awoken a team that has sleepwalked through most of this season. With one intentional beaning of Alex Rodriguez by Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster, the Yankees became a team united.

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The New York Yankees had one of the more eventful weeks in years, with the good, bad and ugly all being revealed during the seven-game stretch against the Angels and Red Sox. The good was Alfonso Soriano having one of the most prolific weeks in the history of baseball, batting .484 with five home runs and 18 RBI. The bad was the two losses, one to Los Angeles and one to Boston, where the surging offense reverted back to their old form and couldn't get anything going. The ugly was the intentional beaning of Alex Rodriguez Sunday by the classless Red Sox.

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The Boston Red Sox showed their true self Sunday night against the New York Yankees. The Red Sox, in first place mind you, showed they are scared of the Yankees, a team that was 8.5 games back in the division entering the game. The Red Sox showed they are clinging to life in this pennant race. The Red Sox showed they would rather cry to the media about facing Alex Rodriguez than actually try and get him out at the plate - which would always be the best and only way to prove a point.


Yankees At Red Sox, What's On Tap: Biggest Series In Years For Rivals
The Red Sox, hoping to avoid a one-game playoff, are trying to hold off the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL East crown. The Yankees, suddenly surging their way into the fight for one of the two wild card spots, would love to take this series and both hurt the Red Sox and help their own chances of extending their season. Here’s a look at what should be a memorable series between the two teams and will certainly be the one with the most implications in some time. At the very least, this weekend could set up another showdown or two in September.

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Yankees What's On Tap: Four-Game Series Against Struggling Angels
The New York Yankees saved their season by winning two of three from the Tigers this weekend, including the latter ending with a Brett Gardner walk-off home run to win Sunday's series finale. That victory could set the tone not only for the upcoming series against the Angels, but the entire season as well.
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Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down: Brett Gardner, Ivan Nova, Alex Rodriguez Trending Up, Mariano Rivera, Curtis Granderson, Andy Pettitte Down
For a week that started out embarrassingly bad, with the New York Yankees getting swept by the pathetic White Sox, the end may have brought hope to a season that seemed lost just days earlier. The Yankees ended the week winning two of three games against the red-hot Tigers, perhaps baseball's best team, including the finale Sunday against Justin Verlander. The last victory is the type that can be looked back on as one that started it all.

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Yankees What's On Tap: Tigers Could Maul Struggling Yankees At Stadium
This is quickly becoming a lost season, if it isn't one already. Can the Yankees save it before it's too late? All signs point to no. Then again, it wouldn't shock anyone for a team to make up seven games in two months. It's the carrot that keeps Yankees fans interested and clinging to their baseball lives. Of course, that life may be taken away as the Detroit Tigers come into Yankee Stadium for three games starting Friday night. Things could get even uglier.

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Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down: Alex Rodriguez, Ivan Nova, Hiroki Kuroda Trending Up, CC Sabathia, Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano Down
This past week was not the type of West Coast trip the Yankees had in mind, as they won just two of five games against the Dodgers and Padres. The Yankees split a quick, two-game series with the Dodgers, a positive result against a red-hot team. But the team dropped two of three to the Padres after that, an embarrassing reminder that the Yankees just might not be good enough to compete for a playoff berth this season. Of course, that's all well and good if you're a Yankees fan who can wait until a reboot next season. For most, however, hope remains, however dim, that these Yankees can make a late run and get to the postseason where anything can happen.

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Yankees What's On Tap: Alex Rodriguez Returns In Must-Win Series Against Chicago White Sox
In what could be the most anticipated early-August game in baseball history, the New York Yankees begin a three-game series against the horrible Chicago White Sox Monday night. What's so meaningful about that? Well, Alex Rodriguez is back with the team and is batting fourth in the lineup. Alone that would be some big news in the baseball world, but add in the fact he was suspended by Major League Baseball a few hours before the first pitch, and you have a can't-miss event.

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Yankees What's On Tap: Sweep Is Goal For 3-Game Series In San Diego
The New York Yankees will find the going a little easier with the next two series on the schedule, a much-needed break from the gauntlet they've run through to start the second half of the season. Going from the Red Sox, Rangers, Rays and Dodgers to the Padres and White Sox is exactly what the team needs at this crucial stage in the season. Simply put, the Yankees need to beat up on San Diego and Chicago or there won't be enough time left to make a run at the postseason.

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Yankees What's On Tap: Huge Two-Game Series With Mattingly, Dodgers
If the New York Yankees truly gained real momentum following their exciting, walk-off victory over the Tampa Bay Rays Sunday afternoon, we'll find out for sure in Los Angeles starting Tuesday night. The Yankees will take on the Dodgers (yes, for the second time this season), a team that has been red-hot and leads the NL West by 2.5 games. This will be a true test in proving the Yankees have what it takes to make a run at the postseason this year. It won't be easy, though. The Dodgers have turned their season completely around in the month of July, led by former Yankees great and current manager Don Mattingly.

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Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down: Derek Jeter, Alfonso Soriano, Hiroki Kuroda Trending Up, CC Sabathia, Travis Hafner, Phil Hughes Down
Sunday afternoon's game against the Tampa Bay Rays was just like old times for the New York Yankees and their fans. Derek Jeter started the scoring with a home run in the first inning. Alfonso Soriano was lighting up the opposition's pitching. Mariano Rivera was perfect in the ninth. And the Yankees won on a walk-off single in a game they absolutely had to win. Finally, it was a great afternoon of baseball for the Yankees and their fans.

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Yankees Trade For Alfonso Soriano, Cubs Will Pay Most Of His Salary
There's been so much bad news surrounding the Yankees this season, it's getting to the point of being completely ridiculous. But, finally, there's some good going on in the Bronx. Alfonso Soriano is back with the Yankees after the Cubs traded the outfielder back to the team he started with. Soriano played for the Yankees from 1999-2003 before being sent to the Texas Rangers as the main piece in the trade for Alex Rodriguez. Soriano right away becomes the second best offensive player on the Yankees right now, behind Robinson Cano.

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Yankees What's On Tap: Must-Win Series Against Red-Hot Tampa Rays
The only place there isn't drama surrounding the New York Yankees is on the baseball field. Every other place, from Tampa to the Bronx to wherever the team may be playing, it's been a soap opera, with storylines that would only be believable in the world of exaggeration. From the countless number of injuries, to the rumored and now confirmed trade for Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano, to Alex Rodriguez's battles with Major League Baseball and his own team, too, it's been a wild season indeed.

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Report: Yankees Close To Acquiring Alfonso Soriano In Trade With Cubs, Would Finally Be A Right Decision
It would no doubt be a great move by the Yankees. Alfonso Soriano has been on fire over the last month, batting .300 with seven doubles, 10 home runs and 21 RBI. Overall, he's batting .259 with 24 doubles, 17 home runs and 51 RBI. He would currently lead the Yankees in doubles and trail just Robinson Cano in both home runs and RBI. Soriano would be an immediate upgrade over Travis Hafner, who should be released, as the designated hitter, or over Vernon Wells in left field.

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Yankees What's On Tap: Important Four-Game Series Against Rangers
When are the Yankees going to turn this season around and start winning consistently? It's the question fans want answered, because this season is already on the verge of becoming a huge disappointment. The Yankees might not be as good as they have been, with the worst lineup in 20 years, but the postseason is always the goal in New York, and a season without a playoff appearance is considered a failure.

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Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down: Hiroki Kuroda, Chris Stewart, Shawn Kelley Trending Up, CC Sabathia, Lyle Overbay, Adam Warren Down
Sunday night's loss in extra innings to the Red Sox was the most depressing of the season for the New York Yankees and their fans. The 8-7 defeat in 11 innings not only was a devastating blow for a team that desperately needed a series win over the AL East leaders, but was a reminder this season could be a long one for the Yankees. Now seven games out, the Yankees are teetering on the edge of survival in the hunt for a postseason spot.

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Red Sox Send Ryan Dempster To Hill For Rubber Match Against Yankees
It’s the third game after the All-Star break and the Red Sox have already made a big change which affects tonight’s critical rubber match with the Yankees. Jon Lester was set to start the game tonight, creating a matchup of big-name lefties with CC Sabathia.

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Yankees What's On Tap: No Better Way To Start Than Against Red Sox
Many see the New York Yankees opening the second half of the season against the Boston Red Sox as the worst possible matchup at the worst possible time. The Yankees can't compete with Boston, at least not yet, they say, so it's more than likely the Red Sox will sweep and send the Bronx Bombers nine games back in the AL East race. We see things differently. There isn't a better matchup for the Yankees to open with than the rival Red Sox.

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Yankees Midseason Awards: Robinson Cano Is MVP, Mariano Rivera Biggest Surprise, CC Sabathia LVP, Plus Breakout & Disappointment
With the All-Star Game in the rear-view mirror, and the break that comes with it lasting until Friday this season, we thought there was no better time to look back at the best and worst of the first half of the New York Yankees season. From the team's MVP, biggest surprise and breakout star, right down to the Least Valuable Player and biggest disappointment, we'll take this rare chance when baseball is idle this summer to look back on an uneven Yankees season to date.

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Watch Mariano Rivera Introduced And Pitching In Final All-Star Game
Video of Yankees closer Mariano Rivera being introduced and pitching in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Citi Field.

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Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down: Hiroki Kuroda, Ivan Nova, Lyle Overbay Trending Up, Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia, Eduardo Nunez Down
Just when you thought the New York Yankees were hitting their stride, with help from an easy schedule, everything comes crashing down. After the Yankees won six straight and six of seven against the Twins and Orioles last week, the Bronx Bombers turned into anything but in splitting a four-game set with the Royals and losing a three-game series to the Twins.

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How Derek Jeter's Return To The Yankees Went At-Bat By At-Bat
Derek Jeter is back in the Bronx with the New York Yankees and didn't waste any time adding another hit to his Hall of Fame total. Jeter swung at the first pitch Thursday afternoon against Royals pitcher Ervin Santana and grounded a short bouncer to third base, sprinting down the first base line for an infield hit.

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Yankees What's On Tap: Yanks Host Royals, Twins Before All-Star Break
The New York Yankees have another great opportunity to make up some ground in both the AL East and wild card races with a pair of opponents this week they should be able to beat. The final seven games before the All-Star break feature the Royals and Twins, both under-.500 teams, at home. The Yankees just swept a four-game series with Minnesota. There's no reason for the Yankees not to end the week winning five of the seven games. Here's a closer look at both series.

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Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down Week 14: Ivan Nova, David Robertson, Eduardo Nunez Trending Up, Brett Gardner, David Phelps, Mariano Rivera Down
Even though it ended in disappointing fashion, the New York Yankees needed a week like this past one desperately. The Yankees had to sweep, yes sweep, a four-game series with the Twins - and they did it. The Yankees then had to take at least two of three from the Orioles - and they did that too. Of course, the Yankees had the opportunity to sweep both series, but the great Mariano Rivera blew the save and lost the game to the Orioles Sunday, leaving the Yankees with a bad taste in a 6-1 week. Here's a look at who did their part to keep the team winning while Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez work their way back into the lineup, and those who didn't.

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State of the Yankees Week 13: Horrible month can be pinned on Yankees offense, which has become pathetic in this season on brink
The New York Yankees ended a dreadful month on a five-game losing streak and went 11-16 overall in June. It was enough to drop the team from first place in the AL East to fourth place and out of Wild Card position altogether. The offense became inept at the plate, scoring 13 total runs in that losing streak and reaching seven runs just two times in the month. It's to the point where fans should be clamoring for the return of Alex Rodriguez, as even at his diminished talent level, is still the second best hitter on the active roster. Yes, that's how bad the Yankees offense has been and how quickly this season has gone from promising to something completely different.

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Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down Week 13: Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez, Ivan Nova are up, Brian Cashman, David Adams, Jayson Nix down
Only Alex Rodriguez could create a firestorm with a simple Tweet. It's the reason why A-Rod will always been surrounded in controversy, whether it's by his own doing or not. He's done plenty to put himself in hot water with the team, league and fans. Probably more than any other baseball player in history. But this latest dust-up, which had Yankees general manager Brian Cashman telling a reporter that Rodriguez needs to "shut the (bleep) up," isn't his fault. A player should never be talked that way by a member of the organization to the media, especially for a completely innocent moment of joy. A-Rod got news from doctors he was cleared to return to the field and Tweeted about it. Cashman obviously wasn't happy. Of course, we should all know that had more to do with Cashman being exposed as a liar, as just days earlier he denied a report that A-Rod was going to be returning to the field soon. Cashman has been wrong a lot this season, and this was just another part of his failures. The whole episode makes for easy choices to lead both spots of our 3 Up and 3 Down column.

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State of the Yankees Week 12: Don Mattingly returns, A-Rod gets closer, Zoilo Almonte off to historic start & Yankees remain in playoff position
Yankees fans have gotten so desperate for an infusion of offense on their struggling ball club that rookie Zoilo Almonte is already being treated as a savior. Almonte is off to an amazing start, historic even, as his .583 batting average in five games is the highest in Yankees history over that time frame. But Almonte wouldn't be in the Bronx if there wasn't big problems at the major league level, and those don't appear to be ending anytime soon. There could be good news coming on the horizon, however, and it's not just the hot bat of Almonte. Alex Rodriguez is getting closer and closer to returning and Derek Jeter took on-field batting practice for the first time Wednesday. That's great news in a season full of bad.

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Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down Week 12: Alex Rodriguez, Zoilo Almonte, Mariano Rivera are up, Phil Hughes, Jayson Nix, Chris Stewart down
Did you ever believe this season the New York Yankees and their fans would be clamoring for the return of Alex Rodriguez? Even over the first quarter of the year, there was no need for A-Rod on the roster, as the giant distraction he typically is would overshadow the tremendous start by the also-rans in the lineup. Of course, those also-rans, including Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay, Travis Hafner and Kevin Youkilis, have been terrible since those quick starts and the offense has become one of the worst in the American League. So, news A-Rod is getting very close to starting a rehab assignment should have the team and fans excited. And nobody would have said that two months ago.

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Don Mattingly returns to Yankee Stadium as manager of Dodgers, which still hurts since he should be managing the Yankees right now
Don Mattingly was the fan's choice to be the next manager of the Yankees back in 2007. It wasn't even close. True Yankees fans not only wanted Mattingly to be the team's manager, but couldn't imagine it not happening. There was no way the Yankees could screw this up. Of course, the Yankees went ahead and screwed it up anyway.

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State of the Yankees Week 11: Offensive woes only get worse as Yankees finish off terrible stretch against Athletics and Angels
If Mariano Rivera doesn't strike out Albert Pujols with the bases loaded in the ninth inning Sunday, this would have been the worst week of the season for the Yankees. Yes, even worse than getting swept by the lowly Mets. Having already lost the first five games, three against the Athletics and two against the Angels, the Yankees appeared on their way to an easy win Sunday. But the bullpen let a 6-0 lead slip to a 6-5 game with the bases loaded and two outs. Luckily, Rivera struck out Pujols to end the game and save what would have been a humiliating stretch of baseball. Maybe the victory sets in motion a string of wins going forward. More likely, however, is the Yankees could be coming apart before our very eyes.

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Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down Week 11: Robinson Cano, Adam Warren, CC Sabathia are up, Kevin Youkilis, Travis Hafner, Lyle Overbay down
Robinson Cano and the pitching staff can't do it all for the New York Yankees. That much was determined this past week, when the Yankees went 1-5 against the Athletics and Angels. The pitchers did their part in keeping the team in games during the stretch. The offense, on the other hand, did not, putting together one of the worst stretches of the entire season. Kevin Youkilis, Travis Hafner and Lyle Overbay combined for three hits - in six games, including one that went 18 innings. It's been that bad for the Yankees at the plate. It makes for a difficult job coming up with three players to highlight. But for the dimmest stars of the week, the challenge was just picking three.

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State of the Yankees Week 10: Yanks put dreadful week behind them by beating up on Indians, Mariners to get back into playoff position
The New York Yankees answered their worst week of the season with one of their best, going 6-1 after a sweep of the Indians and taking three of four from the Mariners. It was the perfect answer to the week prior, where the Yankees lost all four games to the Mets and dropped two of three to the Red Sox. The Yankees are now 11 games over .500 and just 1.5 games back of the Red Sox for first place in the AL East. Unlike the end of last week, when the Yankees were not in playoff position, they currently lead the wild card standings. What a difference a week makes.

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Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down Week 10: Brett Gardner, David Phelps, Phil Hughes are up, Robinson Cano, Vernon Wells, David Adams down
He has the highest batting average on theYankees this season. He leads the team in doubles and runs scored. He's fifth in home runs and fourth in RBI. Can you guess who the player is? Nope, it's not Robinson Cano or Travis Hafner or Lyle Overbay or Ichiro Suzuki. His name is Brett Gardner and he is the best offensive player on the Yankees right now. He's on absolute fire at the plate and could even wind up on the All-Star team this summer. He doesn't typically get the recognition on a team full of stars, but when you hit for a .520 average in a week, with a ton of extra base hits to boot, there's no stopping the praise then. Not surprisingly, Gardner leads off our 3 Up & 3 Down column.

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State of the Yankees Week 9: Embarrassing week sends Yankees from first place in AL East to out of playoff position altogether
The only saving grace this week for the New YorkYankees was pitcher CC Sabathia rediscovering his lost velocity and being the ace everyone hoped he still would be this season. As for the rest, this was a depressing and downright embarrassing set of games, with the Yankeesgetting swept in four games by the Mets and then losing two of three to the Red Sox. The Yankeeshave lost seven of eight games and are suddenly in crisis mode for the first time since the opening week of the season.

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Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down Week 9: CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Jayson Nix are up, David Phelps, Phil Hughes, Mariano Rivera on down list
Coming into this week, one of the few things the New York Yankees had to worry about was the reduced velocity by their struggling ace, CC Sabathia. A week later, Sabathia is the least of the team's worries. The Yankees were swept in four games by the Mets, a humiliating result, and followed that by dropping two of three games to the Red Sox at the Stadium. The Yankees went 1-6 this week, with the one victory coming after a vintage performance by Sabathia. Much like the Yankees struggled to win this week, we'll struggle to find three players to highlight in a positive light. The only struggle on the negative side will be limiting it to just three players.

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State of the Yankees Week 8: CC Sabathia continues to struggle, Curtis Granderson injured again, but Yankees still lead AL East
For a team that went 3-3 this past week, winning two extra inning games and taking two of three from the Rays, there is a lot of negativity surrounding the Yankees. First, there was the injuries to Hiroki Kuroda, David Phelps and Curtis Granderson, with the latter slated to miss at least a month. Second, there was the two straight losses to the Orioles, including one that had Kuroda injured on a comebacker, and although he says he shouldn't miss a start, it will be important to see how he bounces back Tuesday against the Mets. Third, and most troubling, is the May swoon by CC Sabathia, who went 0-2 with an ERA closing in on 5.00. Even worse is Sabathia's velocity is down from the mid-90's to barely hitting 90 at all. It sounds as if these are troubling times in the Bronx, but that's not the case.

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Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down Week 8: David Adams, Vidal Nuno, Travis Hafner are up, CC Sabathia, Curtis Granderson, Austin Romine down
We have been calling Hiroki Kuroda the ace of the Yankees staff for a few weeks now, based on his Cy Young-type stretch this season, but no one is foolish enough to believe he's better than CC Sabathia. Kuroda may be pitching like it so far, but Sabathia is still the go-to pitcher on the staff when a big win is needed. But Sabathia hasn't been his usual steady self, and that is troubling for the Yankees. He hasn't won a game in a month and said Sunday after getting beaten badly by the Rays that he's hurting the team. If Sabathia is indeed taking a step backward, it could cost the Yankees a pennant. At least he's aware there is a problem and will attempt to fix it. We'll have more on Sabathia below, but first some good news from a week that saw the Yankees go 3-3.

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State of the Yankees Week 7: Hiroki Kuroda, Yankees rolling to AL East lead, third-best record in majors
If the New York Yankees could pitch Hiroki Kuroda every day, or simply play the Toronto Blue Jays, they may just win 140 games this year. That's how good Kuroda has been, and how dominate the Yankees have been over their AL East rivals this season. Kuroda has allowed eight total runs in his past seven starts, including throwing an eight-inning shutout this week. And, with two more wins this week, the Yankees are now 8-1 against the Jays. Did we say 140 games? Maybe 150 is more like it.

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Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down Week 7: Hiroki Kuroda, David Phelps, David Adams up, Ichiro Suzuki, Phil Hughes, Jayson Nix are down
If there's been a more impressive pitcher in the major leagues this season than Hiroki Kuroda, I wouldn't believe it. Sure, there's the group of young phenoms, led by Matt Harvey and Matt Moore, and the consistent greatness of guys like Clayton Kershaw, but nobody has impressed like the Yankees pitcher. He may not lead the league in wins and he may not have the lowest ERA, but Kuroda has been simply fantastic for the first-place New York Yankees. Not surprisingly, he had yet another great start this week and he leads off our latest 3 Up and 3 Down column.

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State of the Yankees Week 6: Another strong week has Yankees in first place in AL East, among MLB's best
When the Yankees go 5-1 in a week, like they did against Colorado and Oakland, there shouldn't be much to complain about. And there isn't. Sure, the offense hasn't been hitting light's out, but it hasn't had to, with a pitching staff, from the starters to the bullpen, that has been as good as any group in baseball this season. The best part, is the two have complimented each other. In one victory, where Phil Hughes allowed six runs in 5.2 innings, the offense scored 11. Hughes even got the victory. It's been that type of run for the Yankees who are 23-13, tied for second best in the majors.

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Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down Week 6: Mariano Rivera, Hiroki Kuroda, Vernon Wells are up, Ichiro Suzuki, Brett Gardner, Travis Hafner down
A big part of the New York Yankees' success in the early going this season is due to the team's veteran players. Three of them continue to put up big numbers, especially this week, and will be represented on our Up list below. Thanks to those players, and a host of others, the Yankees are 10 games over .500 and have won five straight heading into Monday afternoon's doubleheader against the Indians.

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State of the Yankees Week 5: Hiroki Kuroda, Phil Hughes and a patchwork offense have Yankees as one of the AL's best teams
Despite a laundry list of injuries this season, the Yankees are right where they have been for the past two decades, in the conversation as one of baseball's best teams. The Yankees are 18-12 on the season, 1.5 games in back of the Boston Red Sox for first place in the AL East. They're also 1.5 games behind for the American League's best record. With that standing, Yankees fans have to be feeling real good, especially knowing the cavalcade of stars could be returning for the season's second half.

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Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down Week 5: Phil Hughes, Hiroki Kuroda, Lyle Overbay are up, Jayson Nix, Boone Logan, Andy Pettitte on down list
The New York Yankees finished off their homestand this week by going 3-3 against the Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics, not exactly what the team had hoped for after starting with a four-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays. On the positive side, there was the continued great pitching of Phil Hughes and Hiroki Kuroda, who are quickly becoming the team's most dependable starters. On the negative, there was the loss Sunday, where Jayson Nix and Boone Logan couldn't come through in key spots. Not surprisingly, those four, and two others, make up this week's 3 Up and 3 Down.

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State of the Yankees Week 4: Sweep of Blue Jays highlights week, but injuries continue to take toll
Who knows how good the Yankees would be this season if injuries wasn't the key topic of discussion. Derek Jeter, Mark Teixiera, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson, we all know the names of those who have missed the season so far. But the injury bug hasn't stopped, with Francisco Cervelli, Ivan Nova and Kevin Youkilis joining the long list of injured players. Luckily for the Yankees, they keep winning games on the field, putting themselves in perfect position to make a run once the stars return to the lineup.

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Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down Week 4: Mariano Rivera, Robinson Cano, Phil Hughes up, Ivan Nova, Francisco Cervelli, Eduardo Nunez down
In a week where the Yankees went 5-2, including a four-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays, it was again injuries that put a damper on the team's winning ways. Francisco Cervelli and Ivan Nova were the latest victims, with both getting injured in the same game. They join Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira on the disabled list. With that list, it's amazing the team is 15-9 this season. The Up list below is part of the reason for success.

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State of the Yankees Week 3: High expectations are back after Yankees put together another winning week
The New York Yankees have come a long way since a rocky start to the season, when they lost two of three games to both the Red Sox and Tigers. In a three-week span, the Yankees have gone from a team that many thought would finish in last place, to one that is 10-7 overall and just 1.5 games out of first place in the AL East. Big expectations are back in the Bronx, just like they should be.

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Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down Week 3: Hiroki Kuroda, Joba Chamberlain, Brett Gardner up, Eduardo Nunez, David Phelps, David Robertson down
You know a team is doing well when you have trouble coming up with three players who under-performed during a week. That's exactly the kind of week the New York Yankees had. The team went 4-2 and has won seven of their last 10 games. The team is hitting and the starting pitching has been outstanding. In both losses, the bullpen ended up blowing leads, so that's a hint of what's to come in the Down section. But, first, a lot of bright spots from a winning week.

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State of the Yankees Week 2: Robinson Cano, CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda have Yankees back in hunt
Admittedly, we were a little concerned when the New York Yankees opened the season with two series losses to the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers. Winning one of out of every three games would make a very long season for Yankeesfans. But the Yankees turned a corner in Week 2, winning four of five games, and five of six overall, to move over .500 and within a game of first place in the AL East.

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Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down Week 2: Robinson Cano, CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda are up, Phil Hughes, Shawn Kelley, Andy Pettitte down
The New York Yankees' start to the season didn't alleviate any fears the team could be in trouble this season, with a 2-4 record and a pair of series losses to the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers. But the team did a 180 this week, as the Yankees went 4-1 and have won five of six games overall. It's still early in the year, but this edition of 3 Up & 3 Down is a whole lot brighter than last week's.

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State of the Yankees 1: Yankees open season with two series losses, no offense & lots of pitching concerns
For the first time in two decades, the Yankees actually living up to expectations has been a bad thing. Unlike previous years, where it was World Series or bust, this new version of the Bronx Bombers has limited to no expectations of making a run at a postseason berth, let alone a world title. With that, the fact the 2013 squad has jumped out to a 2-4 start shouldn't surprise anyone. Still, even with low expectations, these are the Yankees, and winning one out of every three games just won't cut it. So, what's gone wrong so far?

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Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down after Week 1: Kevin Youkilis, CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte start strong, Robinson Cano, Ichiro Suzuki, Ivan Nova down
It's going to take a lot for Yankees fans to get behind Kevin Youkilis. For years, he was Public Enemy No. 1 with the Red Sox. But if Youkilis continues to produce at the plate, as he's done so far this young season, he might win over fans quickly.

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Yankees 2013 Season Preview: Despite injuries to key players, Yankees will still win AL East and challenge for world title
Obviously, no one really knows what's going to happen this season until it actually plays out on the field, but from our perspective, all those already writing the Yankees obituary are not only premature, but incorrect. The New York Yankees are going to win the AL East again this season, even with the current offense.

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Curtis Granderson breaks forearm, won't return until at least May, here's who could replace him
The one thing the New York Yankees couldn't afford this spring was an injury, especially to one of the team's marquee players. But in the team's first televised game of spring training, that's exactly what happened, and the effects will be felt way into the regular season. Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson broke his right forearm after getting hit by a pitch from Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ in the first inning Sunday afternoon. Granderson left the game in obvious pain, but the extent of the injury wasn't known until X-rays revealed the fracture. Granderson will be out until at least the first week of May, a month into the regular season.

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New York Sports' Top 12 Storylines Of 2012: Alex Rodriguez, RA Dickey, Champion Giants, Derek Jeter, Tim Tebow, Mariano Rivera, More
As the ball is getting closer and closer to being dropped in Times Square, it's only fitting to look back on the year that was, especially in sports. There was no shortage of storylines making the back pages and lead spots on websites covering the sports world this year, with the good, bad and ugly carving their way into the history books. Of course, with sports, it's all about stats and lists, and we have a great one to end this crazy year in the Big Apple. GameDay names the 12 best New York sports storylines from 2012. Make sure to comment on our list and come up with your own in the comments section below.

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Red Sox Analysis: Dissecting the questionable offseason moves by the Red Sox, including Ryan Dempster, Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli, more
The Boston Red Sox have invented a new philosophy for their 2012 offseason. The goal on Yawkey Way has been to give slightly above average and slightly over the hill players as much money as it takes to get them to come to Boston. That’s right. In an age where teams either search for low cost players or the best talent, the Red Sox have spent a ton of money on marginal players. Let’s break down the moves Boston has made this year and talk about why they have been left behind by the likes of New York, Baltimore, and even Toronto.

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Yankees free agent targets this offseason, including Hiroki Kuroda and Joakim Soria
That brings us to replacing Rafael Soriano, as he is almost assuredly going to cash in after his successful year closing games for last season. The Yankees have a solid bullpen to lean on, with Mariano Rivera returning as closer, David Robertson and Joba Chamberlain as set up men and Boone Logan, Clay Rapada and David Aardsma as relievers. So, realistically, the Yankees could let Soriano go and continue on as if nothing changed. The one option the Yankees should look into is former Royals closer Joakim Soria, who missed the entire season last year after going through Tommy John surgery. Soria would be the perfect set-up man for Rivera next season and then the heir apparent the following year.

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Yankees Analysis: We Put The Current Roster Through Our Pay Him Or Slay Him Evaluation, A-Rod, Swisher, Granderson, Girardi, More
After a downright embarrassing performance at the plate during the postseason, the immediate reaction should be to blow the entire Yankees offense up. Get rid of everybody and start over. Build a team that doesn't have to rely on the home run to score. Build a team that actually has a pulse at the dish. Build a team that has a will to win, and does it in any way possible, especially in the playoffs.

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Does it ever end? More controversy surrounds A-Rod
It really is amazing what a lightning rod of controversy Alex Rodriguez is. Really, I'm amazed. Every single time you think it can't get any worse. Every single time you think he's turned the corner and put his silly antics behind him. Alex Rodriguez's gossip page life just has to have a soap opera type storyline that has nothing to do with his ability, or lack thereof, to hit a baseball.

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Nick Swisher not only failing at plate and in field this postseason, but he has no sense of reality either
Nick Swisher's words are simply ridiculous and show how delusional he is as a multi-millionaire out of touch with the general public. Would Yankee Stadium be so negative if you actually got a base hit every now and again, or didn't misplay a fly ball in the outfield to cost the team a key victory in the ALCS opener, huh, Nick? Would you expect them to cheer every time you strikeout weakly, Nick? The only good thing about Swisher's words is the fact it's another nail in the coffin of his Yankees career.

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Time for Yankees to wake up after not only losing Game 1 to Tigers, but Derek Jeter for postseason
The 6-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers in 12 innings wasn't just a terrible defeat on the field, it was a terrible loss to the soul of the Yankees. On a ground ball during the final inning, Derek Jeter made the play at short, but he landed awkwardly on his plant foot on the run and his ankle rolled. But the injury ended up being much worse than that, as we learned after the game Jeter fractured his ankle and will miss the rest of the postseason. Watching Jeter basically carried off the field was devastating, and now the Yankees will have to continue on without their captain and team leader.

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A-Rod's not clutch, but he's not the only one failing for Yankees in playoffs
The obvious is Alex Rodriguez just can't get the big hit in the big moment. I know this. The world knows this. I have very little confidence when he's at the plate in a big spot. In Game 2, the die-hard part of me thought this would be the time where A-Rod would finally break through and tie the game with a home run. The other, realistic part of me knew the game was over. But he's not the only problem.

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State Of The Yankees 24: Quest for another world title begins against the Orioles in ALDS
The Orioles made it interesting, but at the end of the regular season, it was still the New York Yankees standing alone on top of the AL East. The Yankees swept the Red Sox over the last three days of the season to outdistance the O's by two games in the division. Not only that, but the Yankees won a league-best 95 games to garner the top overall seed in the playoffs. All this for a team that had gigantic struggles during the regular season, had significant injuries to key players and had a manager who still doesn't know how to lead a team on game day.

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State Of The Yankees 23: Despite Girardi's mismanaging, Yanks build small cushion in AL East
We're down to the final eight games of the season and Yankees manager Joe Girardi still can't get out of his own way and help this team win. Tuesday night, he took out Phil Hughes in the seventh inning and brought in lefty Boone Logan for matchup purposes with a 3-1 lead. Hughes had allowed just one run through two outs of the seventh, and even though he loaded the bases, he had just struck out Pedro Florimon. The next batter, Denard Span, was already 0-for-3 against Hughes. But Girardi, who doesn't know how to manage a game, just a matchup, pulled the plug on Hughes and brought on Logan. Before you could blink it was 5-3 Twins and the Yankees lost a game they should have won.

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College GameDay Rewind Week 4: Yankees manager Joe Girardi doesn't deserve job
The Yankees are riding their own momentum and the most impressive part of winning nine of their last 11 games is overcoming the shortcomings of their own manager. Joe Girardi is a complete joke and has no right managing the greatest franchise in the history of baseball. As I wrote in the State of the Yankees column, he manages like a robot, going by a program instilled in his brain that goes by matchups instead of realizing players are actually human beings with actual emotions.

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State Of The Yankees 22: Pettitte returns and Yankees continue their quest for the AL East crown
But the team should be more fired up than usual as Andy Pettitte will return to the mound. As we've broken down here many times, Pettitte could be the key to turning the season around, just in time to win the AL East and head into the postseason. Pettitte will be the team's third starter in the playoffs, following CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda. While the Yankees need Pettitte to pitch well and win the game Wednesday, it's more important he looks good and emerges injury free.

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College GameDay Rewind Week 3: Yankees get Andy Pettitte back at perfect time
Wednesday could be the turning point in the New York Yankees season. Why? Because Andy Pettitte makes his long-awaited return to the mound against the Toronto Blue Jays. Yes, the 40-year-old Pettitte, who has been on the active roster for just 40 games this season, is the key in whether or not the Yankees finish off the Orioles and win the AL East. Even bigger, Pettitte is the key to the Yankees winning another world championship.

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State of the Yankees 21: Maybe the Yankees just don't have what it takes to win the AL East this year
For once, I'm completely dumbfounded about what to write about this Yankees team. They either aren't lucky enough or simply aren't good enough to win the AL East this season. At least that's what they've shown during this on-going 22-game stretch against AL East opponents. The Yankees are 5-9 so far against division opponents, with eight to play. That's not going to win the division.

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College GameDay Rewind: Yankees officially collapse, now Derek Jeter needs to bring fire
The New York Yankees have completed their dramatic collapse, falling into a first-place tie in the AL East with the Baltimore Orioles after losing to the Tampa Bay Rays Tuesday night. The Yankees once-thought insurmountable, double-digit advantage in the division is gone, and their is no reason to believe things will turn around anytime soon, putting their postseason hopes in severe danger.

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State of the Yankees 20: AL East lead continues to shrink as Yankees drop two series in a row
In the biggest series of the year, this weekend against the Baltimore Orioles, the Yankees appeared at best a team that doesn't have the talent to hold onto the AL East, and at worst, a team that just doesn't care whether or not they lose anymore. Take away a bases-loaded walk and then an error on the next batter, and the Yankees would have been swept away by the Orioles and would be tied right now atop the standings. We've written a lot here in this space about not panicking. But guess what? It's panic time.

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College GameDay Rewind Week 1: Joe Girardi on hot seat for Yankees
If the punchless Yankees, who look like they don't want to win anymore, do end up blowing the AL East lead, manager Joe Girardi has to go. It's simple. The Yankees made a big mistake hiring Girardi in the first place (Don Mattingly should have gotten the job), now they need to rectify it. If only they could find a way to bring Donnie Baseball back ... but that's wishful thinking.
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State of the Yankees 19: AL East lead down to 3.5 games as Yanks can't put together winning stretches
Just when the Yankees appeared to be back in the driver's seat for not only winning the AL East going away, but having the best record in the league as well, a week like last happens that puts everything back into the world of the unknown. After taking three of four from the Rangers and two of three from the Red Sox, the Yankees answered this past week by getting swept by the White Sox before winning two of three from the lowly Indians.

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State of the Yankees 18: Big series wins over Boston and Texas have Yankees back on top in AL
Wasn't it just about two weeks ago that everyone was pushing the panic button on the Yankees season? Well, doesn't that seem a whole lot of silly right now? The Yankees not only have the best record in the American League, but they just won three of four against the Texas Rangers, who many consider the top team in baseball, and two of three from the Boston Red Sox to push themselves 23 games over .500. The Yankees have won nine of their last 12 games and lead the Orioles by five games and the Rays by six in the AL East.

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State of the Yankees 17: Yanks solidify postseason chances with winning week, but injuries mount
Our State of the Yankees column is back for its 17th installment with a much-needed winning week, highlighted by four straight victories, but an injury to CC Sabathia casts cloud over next two weeks.

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Yankees adding Derek Lowe to bullpen
The New York Yankees are bringing in former Red Sox pitcher Derek Lowe to provide depth in the bullpen with CC Sabathia being placed on the disabled list. Lowe was designated for assignment by the Cleveland Indians last week. He is expected to join the Yankees on Monday.

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Yankees put CC Sabathia on DL
Ace CC Sabathia was put on the 15-day disabled list after Saturday's game because of stiffness in his pitching elbow. This is the second stint this season on the DL for Sabathia, who missed three starts surrounding the All-Star Game.

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Andy Pettitte is the missing piece to the Yankees championship puzzle
So, A-Rod has been missed, but we have a much bigger missing piece to the Yankees' championship puzzle and who might just explain why the Yankees have gone from unbeatable to clinging to a postseason berth in short order. That piece is Andy Pettitte.

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State of the Yankees 16: Needed series win over Seattle has Yankees heading to road with positive momentum
This was the week the Yankees needed to right the ship and regain their once-dominate control of the AL East. It didn't start out so well, with the Yankees losing the first two games to the Baltimore Orioles to turn a once-thought insurmountable lead into a precarious one. But over the final four games of the week, the Yankees did what they had to do, winning three to create some much needed distance between the Orioles (6.5 games), Rays (7.5) and a whole 10 games over the Red Sox.

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State of the Yankees 15: Despite four-game losing streak, nothing to panic about for Yankees ... yet
With the Yankees losing their fourth straight game to end the month of July, the question obviously becomes is this a sign of things to come or is it merely a temporary stretch of bad play and bad luck? The answer isn't clear, and it never is, but an educated guess says this is just one of those stretches where a great baseball team plays some pretty bad baseball. No more, no less.

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Alex Rodriguez breaks left hand, put on 15-day disabled list
Alex Rodriguez was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday night with a broken left hand. Rodriguez was hit by a change-up from Felix Hernandez in the eighth inning in a 4-2 loss to the Mariners. Hernandez had hit Ichiro Suzuki and Derek Jeter before nailing Rodriguez late in the game. The Seattle pitcher hit three of the final five batters he faced, although none appeared on purpose.

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State of the Yankees 14: Four-game sweep by Oakland hurts, but trade for Ichiro should fuel Yankees
Our State of the Yankees column is back for its 14th installment with a terrible sweep at the hands of the Oakland Athletics and a shocking trade for Seattle Mariners star Ichiro Suzuki.

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First photo of Ichiro in a Yankees uniform
Ichiro takes the field in his new Yankees uniform.

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Yankees trade two pitchers for Mariners star Ichiro, will bat eighth in debut
The New York Yankees pulled off a shocking trade moments ago, acquiring outfielder Ichiro Suzuki from the Seattle Mariners for a pair of minor leaguers. The Yankees are in Seattle tonight, so Ichiro will switch dugouts for the game.

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Breaking down the brightest, and dimmest, stars of the first half of the Yankees season
Robinson Cano: The All-Star second baseman has put himself in the MVP discussion after a slow start, so it's no surprise he leads our list by being named on 6 of the 13 "Up" lists this season. In 85 games, Cano is batting .313 with 26 doubles, 20 home runs and 51 RBI. He ranks in the top eight in five offensive categories, including fourth in slugging and eighth in both home runs and batting average.

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State of the Yankees 13: Jones finds fountain of youth, Yankees head into break with baseball's best record
Almost everything went right for the Yankees in their four-game series with the rival Boston Red Sox this weekend at Fenway Park. The Yankees won three of four games. Andruw Jones hit four home runs, and missed a fifth by just inches, in three games, rediscovering the form that made him a star a decade ago. Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia were both superb on the mound. The Yankees won four of their last five heading into the All-Star break to hold the best record in baseball. They have the biggest division lead in baseball as well, seven games over the second-place Baltimore Orioles. And there was the burying of the Red Sox, all the way back into a last place tie with the Toronto Blue Jays, 9.5 games out of first in the AL East.

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State of the Yankees 12: Yankees remain red-hot despite losing CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte to injuries
July started just how June ended for the New York Yankees - with a victory. The Yankees, coming off a tremendous month, going 20-7 in June, won the first game of July Sunday afternoon, clinching a split with the Chicago White Sox. The Yankees also got news that three of their players will be starting the all-star game, with Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson winning the fan vote, and another, CC Sabathia, chosen as a reserve. But not everything is going well for the Bombers.

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Fans vote in three Yankees to start All-Star Game, Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano
The All-Star Game in Kansas City will have a New York Yankees feel to it as three of its players were voted to start in the fan balloting. Derek Jeter will start at shortstop, Robinson Cano gets the nod at second and Curtis Granderson gets one of the starting outfield spots.

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Andy Pettitte breaks ankle, will miss at least six weeks
In a matter of hours Wednesday the Yankees went from having one of the best starting fives in all of baseball, to now trying to suddenly replace their top two pitchers. First it was CC Sabathia being placed on the 15-day disabled list this morning with a muscle strain in his left leg. Then, Andy Pettitte was hit with a line drive to the ankle in the afternoon game against the Cleveland Indians hours later. He will miss at least six weeks.

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Yankees put CC Sabathia on 15-day DL
Just when it appeared everything was going the Yankees way during this incredible run in June, some big news has come as the first downer in a long, long time. The Yankees are going to place ace pitcher CC Sabathia on the 15-day disabled list with a muscle strain. Manager Joe Girardi made the announcement Wednesday morning, a few hours before the Yankees play the Cleveland Indians at the Stadium.

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State of the Yankees 11: Yankees continue to rule New York baseball with another series win over Mets
Facing the first bit of adversity in a month, losing three straight games, including the series opener to the Mets Friday night, the Yankees had to respond in a big way in the final two games against their cross-city rivals, especially considering the trash talking by closer Frank Francisco. Consider the job done. The Yankees bounced back, winning Saturday's game 4-3 and besting R.A. Dickey (although he didn't take the loss) and the Mets 6-5 Sunday.

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State of the Yankees 10: Three straight sweeps has the Yankees back as the best team in baseball
To say the New York Yankees are playing the best baseball of the season would be a giant understatement. The Yankees have won nine games in a row and 12 of their last 13. They went from four games over .500 two weeks ago to 15 over today. They've taken over first place in the AL East and trail only the Don Mattingly-led Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in baseball. Nothing could be going better for the Yankees these days.

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State of the Yankees 9: Red-hot stretch continues as Yankees sweep Mets in Subway Series
The Yankees team everyone thought they would be before the season has finally materialized over the past three weeks. After starting the year with mediocre play, with the low points including a pitching staff that was seemingly getting beat up night after night, and an offense failing to get a big hit in any situation, let alone a big one, the team has finally taken all their lofty potential and translated it to victories on the field.

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State of the Yankees 8: Successful road trip has Yanks on doorstep of AL East lead, despite lack of clutch hits
Our State of the Yankees column is back for its eighth installment with a successful road trip but still a whole lot of failures at the plate in the clutch.

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State of the Yankees 7: After hitting rock bottom, Yankees reel off five straight; big stretch 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.

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State of the Yankees 6: Andy Pettitte delivers vintage performance, but offense can't get 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.

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State of the Yankees 5: All is right in Yankee Universe as Pettitte returns, plus Cano 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.

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Andy Pettitte to return to Yankees for Sunday start
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.

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State of the Yankees 4: Sadness surrounding 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.

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As news of Mariano Rivera injury sinks in, don't bet against return
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.

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Mariano Rivera tears ACL, most likely will miss entire season
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.


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.


State of the Yankees III: Breaking down a tough stretch, led by CC Sabathia
Our State of the Yankees column is back for its third installment after a tough stretch against two of the league's best, two prime performances by ace CC Sabathia and a captain who's playing better than ever.


There's hopefully still plenty of baseball left in the careers of Michael Pineda and Jesus Montero, but so far the Yankees look like complete fools for making the trade of the two highly-touted prospects this offseason with the Seattle Mariners. News today is that Pineda will be out for the season with a labrum tear in his right shoulder.


As we throw out the first pitch here on our second State of the Yankees column, the mood couldn't get any better if you're a fan of the Bronx Bombers. On both Friday and Saturday, the Yankees not only beat the rival Red Sox, but humiliated them. It makes for a fun edition of this breakdown.


The Yankees' 4-4 start to the new season isn't anything to get excited about, but considering the Bombers were swept by the Tampa Bay Rays in the opening series, it's not anything to get worried about either. After losing the first three games, the Yankees went on to sweep the Baltimore Orioles and took the first game of a three-game set against the Los Angeles Angels before losing big Saturday.


As pitchers and catchers report to Yankees spring training today, general manager Brian Cashman, continuing his overly-honest approach that began last year, admitted the team played to win the wild card in the 2010 season. The Rays ended up winning the division, but had to face the Texas Rangers in the first round. The Yankees won the wild card and played the patsy Minnesota Twins.


Finally, the Yankees have sent pitcher A.J. Burnett packing in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates. While the Yankees didn't get much in return, this was more a classic case of addition by subtraction. Burnett would have come into spring training as the seventh starter, so there was no reason to keep him around.


The Yankees signed a former power hitter Wednesday, and no it's not Hideki Matsui or Raul Ibanez. Russell Branyan has been invited to spring training, the Yankees announced. Branyan appears to have little shot to make the team, but anything can happen with a strong exhibition season.


In an emotional press conference, Jorge Posada announced he was leaving the game of baseball forever. With Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, among other players and coaches, in attendance, one of the greatest catchers in Yankees history announced his retirement to a jam-packed audience in the Bronx.


New York Yankees great Jorge Posada will officially announce his retirement Tuesday morning at Yankee Stadium. Posada played 17 years with the Yankees, becoming one of the best hitting catchers of all-time. He won five World Series titles and was a five-time all-star.


As much as the Giants claim to own New York, especially when they are playing in an NFC divisional playoff game against the Green Bay Packers, this week proved otherwise. Here's the day-by-day breakdown of a week that should have belonged to the Giants, but had them regulated to secondary status.


The Yankees have reportedly traded for Seattle Mariners rookie all-star pitcher Michael Pineda in exchange for catcher Jesus Montero and pitcher Hector Noesi. Also, many outlets are now reporting the Yankees have agreed to a one-year, $10 million contract with pitcher Hiroki Kuroda.


While he may not have gotten the ultimate sendoff of winning a World Series title last October, Yankees great Jorge Posada accomplished something on a personal level that has him leaving the sport with his head held high. One of best hitting catchers in baseball history is set to retire in the next two weeks, meaning he will end his legendary career right where it started - with the Yankees.


Surreal night in Bronx ends with watching Tigers celebrate after beating punchless Yanks in ALDS
I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact the Yankees' season came to an end Thursday night. It was almost surreal sitting in the stadium watching the Yankees go down without a fight against Jose Valverde in the ninth inning and having the Tigers celebrate right in front of me.


Before I get to my Yankees eulogy later tonight, as I was in the ballpark to witness the ALDS Game 5 disaster against the Detroit Tigers, I wanted to point out the one man who actually showed up to play this postseason. Jorge Posada, the man banished to the bench by manager Joe Girardi, proved once again he is one of the greatest Yankees of all-time.


I realize there was no real basis for my contention that A.J. Burnett would throw a gem Tuesday night for the Yankees in a do-or-die Game 4 of the ALDS against the Tigers. Call it a hunch. Call it a feeling. Call it shear stupidity. But I just knew Burnett would come through and send this series back to the Bronx.


The Yankees saved their season Tuesday night in Detroit with help from one of their heroes and one of their goats. Together it couldn't have added up to a more important outing for the future of the Yankees this postseason. Curtis Granderson did it with his glove and A.J. Burnett did it with his arm and New York has forced a Game 5 in this ALDS with a 10-1 victory in Game 4.


In 2007, three young pitchers made their debuts in the Bronx for the New York Yankees. Two of them were considered the future of the most storied organization in all of sports. The third was a notch below his teammates, but still had unbelievable upside. Together, the trio were not only pegged as future All-Stars, but the ones who would be the face of the next generation Yankees.


Jesus Montero, the much-hyped catching prospect in the Yankees minor league system, should be making his long-anticipated arrival in New York Thursday to join the big league team. Yankees manager Girardi said Montero will arrive tomorrow.


The end of a great Yankees career as we know it occurred today at Fenway Park in Boston. That is where manager Joe Girardi told Jorge Posada he would no longer be the team's designated hitter. Without a spot behind the plate and a position to play on the field, besides a very occasional turn at first to spell Mark Teixeira, Posada will be regulated to the bench from here on out.


Alex Rodriguez has taken a big gamble. Literally and figuratively. And he's probably going to lose. The question is how big? Major League Baseball is investigating the Yankees slugger's involvement in illegal, underground poker games detailed by a report in Star Magazine. The same such games the league told him to stay away from in 2005.


Forget about the Yankees or Red Sox acquiring Dodgers starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda at the trade deadline. Kuroda has decided not to waive his no-trade clause and will finish out the season with the Dodgers. "I told Ned (Colletti) through my agent (Steve Hilliard) that I will be wearing this uniform throughout the season," he said through an interrupter. "I'm not going anywhere."


It was July 10 way back in 1997 that I made the trek to Yankee Stadium for what I thought would be one of the great moments in the history of the Bronx Bombers. A Japanese superstar by the name of Hideki Irabu was set to make his Yankees debut as a starting pitcher that night, and my excitement and enthusiasm was equaled by the over 50,000 people who packed the Stadium that night to witness history.


Call me naive or say I'm behind the times, but I had a major revelation during my vacation to Chicago last week. What's the major eye-opener? Chicago Cubs fans are not only the most overrated in all of baseball, but they could be the worst fans in the game. I actually can't imagine a fan base that is worse, and I'm surrounded by a great number of Mets fans.


When Yankees captain Derek Jeter reached first on a bunt single against the Rays Sunday afternoon the scoreboard flashed a familiar countdown on the big screen in the outfield. Only this time the number "3" was replaced with the number "4". As in 4,000 hits. Such is life for the future Hall of Famer where the next great moment is always on the horizon.


Here is more of our coverage of Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes' rehab start for the Trenton Thunder in New Britain Friday night. We have full coverage below this post and in the pages of the New Britain Herald, but here is the entire press conference following Hughes' start against the Rock Cats.


Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes said his rehab start with the Double-A Trenton Thunder against the New Britain Rock Cats was a step in the right direction Friday night. Even though he had better numbers during his first rehab stint for Staten Island in A-ball, Hughes was positive in the progress he's making.


It didn't take the New Britain Rock Cats long to start the hype machine on their website for this Friday night when the Trenton Thunder arrive in town. Why the hype? Yankees starting pitcher Phil Hughes will be on the mound for the Thunder Friday night. Hughes will be making a rehab start in New Britain.


For the first time since the early years of interleague play, I actually found myself glued to the television for a series that didn't involve the Yankees and Mets. Of course, it was special circumstances as the Yankees were in Wrigley Field for a series against the Chicago Cubs.


I got the opportunity, for the second year in a row, to attend the New Britain Rock Cats hot stove luncheon Friday afternoon, despite the early snowfall, and there was some interesting tidbits to come out of the event. Minnesota Twins general manager Bill Smith was the featured speaker, and the underlining theme of his speech to the crowd at the Crowne Plaza in Cromwell was, for me anyway, beating the Yankees. The "damn Yankees" as he would say.


Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven were both elected to the baseball Hall of Fame today after coming up just short a year ago. Alomar was named on 90 percent of the ballots, while Blyleven was on 79 percent. Connecticut native Jeff Bagwell received 41 percent of the vote, far shy of the 75 percent needed for election. Yankees great Don Mattingly also came up well short of election.