As 2019 comes to a close, we're reminiscing about the sports moments that affected New York over the past 10 years. So we decided to rank them.

Here are the Top 10 sports moments of this decade...


10) No-Han: Johan Santana throws first no-hitter in Mets history

By: Danny Abriano

When the Mets traded for Johan Santana before the 2008 season, he was supposed to be the missing piece they needed that would help them turn the promise of 2006 and collapse of 2007 into a World Series title in 2008.

While the above didn't happen, Santana's no-no in June of 2012 -- with Gary Cohen punctuating it by exclaiming "It has happened!" -- is one of the most memorable moments in Mets history. And it was fitting that it was Santana who did it after he missed the entire 2011 season due to injury and fought back.

With pitching royalty such as Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden, and Pedro Martinez having donned the orange and blue, it was insane that no Met had thrown a no-hitter until Santana pulled it off. But as anyone who lives and breathes baseball knows, it takes a little luck for it to happen.

I'd like to also take this time to debunk a false narrative. The no-hitter (and 134 pitches it took to get it) did not derail Santana's career. He was just fine in his starts following that gem until suffering an ankle injury that ended his season.

9) The Decision: LeBron James chooses Heat over Knicks

By: Alex Smith

"I'm gonna take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat."

With the sports world watching, LeBron James announced his decision to leave his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers and join Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the Heat.

Like most of the items on this list, it's one of those times that you remember exactly where you were when LeBron ended his first run with the Cavs, the team that had selected him first overall, directly out of high school.

There were plenty of teams interested, with the Bulls, Clippers, and Nets among the possibilities, but many Knicks fans were convinced that LeBron would head for the bright lights of Broadway and become the megastar they needed to return to NBA glory.

Instead, James went to Miami, won two championships, came back to Cleveland and won another, and is now hoping to do the same with the Lakers that he could have done with the Knicks in the early 2010s -- win a title and bring one of the NBA's most notable franchises back to the top of the heap.

Meanwhile, since 2010, the Knicks have made the playoffs just three times (none since 2013), and have won just one playoff series. Oh, what could have been.

8) A-Roid: Alex Rodriguez suspended for 2014 season for PED use

By: Scott Thompson

The Biogenesis scandal. If you've paid attention to baseball even a little, you know exactly why this moment has to be on our list. 

Alex Rodriguez became the face of this dark moment in MLB history, as he was handed a 211-game ban -- the largest ever given out to a player -- for using performance-enhancing drugs under the administration of the clinic's founder in Anthony Bosch. Rodriguez wasn't the only player to be suspended -- Brewers MVP OF Ryan Braun was among the 13 players -- but his suspension was by far the biggest. Braun also received 65 games while the others got docked 50 games. 

Rodriguez would appeal the ruling, but to no avail. In turn, he missed the entire 2014 season, and his MLB legacy would be tarnished forever. That "A-Roid" nickname followed him until he officially called it quits in 2016 at age 40.

A-Rod has since cleaned up his public image, and has been doing well as a broadcaster in his post-playing days.

7) Hello, Melo: Knicks land Carmelo Anthony in blockbuster trade

By: Scott Thompson

Carmelo Anthony, already a three-time All-Star and recognized as one of the best scorers in the game, was on the trade block with the Nuggets during the 2010-11 NBA season. Many teams were interested in landing Melo, but the Knicks were at the top of the pack. 

Then, they gave Denver an offer it couldn't refuse. 

The package went like this: Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman for Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov and a 2014 first-round pick among other cash and draft pick considerations. 

New York thought this was the turning point for the franchise that hadn't won an NBA title since 1973. Anthony was the man they needed leading the charge. 

However, the Knicks dysfunction continued to run its course, and they only were able to win one NBA playoff series during his time in New York. Through seven seasons, Anthony would average 24.7 points, seven rebounds and 3.2 assists while shooting 44.3 percent from the field in 412 career games. His time in the Big Apple would eventually end in more dysfunction with Phil Jackson finally granting his wish of a trade, which sent him to the Thunder during the 2017-18 season. 

6) Butt Ugly: Mark Sanchez' gaffe headlines awful loss to Patriots on Thanksgiving

By: Alex Smith

The third NFL game on Thanksgiving might be an afterthought for some, as most people end up napping through most of it in a post-dinner food coma. But in 2012, the Jets hosted the Patriots at MetLife Stadium in primetime, and gave the world perhaps the most disastrous play in the history of the NFL.

Already trailing the Pats 14-0 with about nine minutes to go in the second quarter, the Jets lined up in an I-formation. Mark Sanchez dropped back and looked to hand the ball off, but both backs had already sprinted out in different directions. It was a broken play, so Sanchez tried to make the most of it, sprinting back toward the line of scrimmage.

Well... you know the rest.

Sanchez ran directly into the rear end of offensive lineman Brandon Moore, the ball came loose, and Patriots safety Steve Gregory picked it up and ran it back for a touchdown.

The Patriots went on to destroy the Jets 49-19 that night, and while the game eventually came to an end, the Butt Fumble will endure forever.

5) Linsanity! Jeremy Lin's incredible play spurs Knicks

By: Alex Smith

As the only non-New York area native among this trio of writers, I saw many of these moments from afar.

But I happened to be a spry college junior in the Bronx when a sweeping case of Linsanity hit New York. It felt like it was basically overnight that the name Jeremy Lin went from meaning nothing to meaning everything in the New York sports world. 

Lin was signed by the Knicks in late December 2011, but he didn't suit up for the majority of his first 21 games with the team. He got a brief six-minute run against the Celtics on Feb. 3, but Linsanity truly began on Feb. 4, when the Knicks hosted the Nets. Lin checked in midway through the second quarter and instantly started lighting up the scoreboard and electrifying the MSG crowd. He finished the night with 25 points and seven assists in 35 minutes.

That began a 10-game span in which Lin scored at least 20 points nine times. Inserted into the starting lineup, Lin led the Knicks to seven straight wins, including a seven-point victory over Kobe Bryant and the Lakers at the Garden, a game in which Lin dropped 38 points to go along with seven assists. In Lin's 12 starts prior to that year's All-Star Game, the Harvard grad averaged 22.5 and 8.7 assists per game, leading the Knicks to nine wins during the stretch.

But Linsanity eventually fizzled out, which reportedly had a lot to do with Carmelo Anthony returning from injury and wanting the offense to run through him. Though many thought the Knicks would bring Lin back at the end of the year, the Houston Rockets offered him a three-year contract worth $25 million, which the Knicks declined to match, ending Lin's run in the Big Apple.

4) The Catch: Odell Beckham Jr.'s propels him to national stage

By: Scott Thompson

This was one of those moments when you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when it happened. For me, it was waiting tables at my local pizza spot, and a catastrophe almost went down because I was so in awe of what I witnessed on the big screen in the dining room. 

In 2014 while I was carrying two pizzas, I witnessed Eli Manning launch a ball down the right sideline to Beckham with Cowboys DB Brandon Carr draped all over him. The jersey pull from Carr throws Beckham off balance, but he still has the ball in his sights. 

He, then, proceeds to reach behind his head and haul in the football with what instant replay revealed to be just three fingers and fall into the end zone for a touchdown. Like...what? 

That was my exact reaction, and in that moment, forgot I was holding the two pizzas and almost dropped them. So forget a jaw-dropping catch. If you remember where you were when Beckham vaulted himself into superstardom with the greatest catch Cris Collinsworth, Al Michaels, and the rest of the world had ever seen, you probably dropped whatever you were holding, too. 

3) Captain 3,000: Derek Jeter records his 3,000th career hit in style

By: Scott Thompson

Jeter has always had a flare for the dramatic, and you just had that gut feeling that his 3,000th career hit wasn't going to be a dribbler down the third base line that he beats out to first. 

No, this career moment was one that fit Jeter's Hall of Fame career. 

After collecting hit No. 2,999 on a single in the first inning off Rays LHP David Price during their July bout at Yankee Stadium in 2011, the big lefty hung a slider over the middle of the plate in Jeter's next at-bat and he put a fine swing on it. When Jeter tossed the bat toward the Yankee dugout and stared it down, you knew it was going out.

The camera turned and the ball continued to travel, eventually finding its way into a flower bed. The crowd went wild as Jeter rounded the bases, with Rays players tipping their cap to The Captain. Jeter was met at home plate by Jorge Posada, who embraced him with a big hug. The rest of the team followed, and Jeter paid respects to the crowd, still on its feet cheering with a memorable curtain call. 

Jeter would go on to collect three more hits, going 5-for-5 with the game-winning RBI in the bottom of the eighth that afternoon as well. Have a day, Jeet.

2) Amazin': Mets sweep Cubs to advance to 2015 World Series

By: Danny Abriano

Before the Mets dealt for Yoenis Cespedes at the 2015 trade deadline, they were plodding along. After they got him, they caught fire. And that they didn't ride that wave -- including Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard at the height of their powers -- all the way to a World Series title was both painful and surprising.

But the happy stuff first.

Cespedes and the Mets took down the Nationals to win the NL East, including a late-season sweep in Washington, D.C. to cement things. They took the Dodgers out in the NLDS in five games after Chase Utley's illegal "slide" led to Los Angeles stealing Game 2. In the NLCS, Daniel Murphy and the Mets' pitching staff ensured the Cubs had no chance as they were swept. And then came the World Series.

The Mets should've had Game 1 in Kansas City, but let it slip away. They should've had Games 4 and 5 at Citi Field and let those slip away, too. Amidst the bitterness of defeat, though, was David Wright's home run in Game 3 at Citi Field -- a moment when the new place sounded like the old place. That the 2015 season didn't end with a third World Series title in Queens will always hurt, but what a ride it was. 

1) Super Again! Giants upset the Patriots once more in Super Bowl XLVI

By: Scott Thompson

The road to Super Bowl XLVI was a tough one for the Giants, but they are no strangers to needing to win games on the road after their miraculous Super Bowl XLII run that ended in a win over the Patriots. 

New York won the NFC East at 9-7, and began its journey with the Falcons in the Wild Card Game at home. That was an easy 24-2 victory, but the challenges would unfold with the Packers on the schedule next.

It was a frozen tundra in Green Bay, but the Giants had a statement 37-20 win in the end. The last step in the NFC was against the 49ers in San Francisco. An overtime muffed punt by Niners return man Kyle Williams set the Giants up for Lawrence Tynes to punch his team's ticket to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis.

And, of course, the Patriots would be waiting for them there, seeking revenge for the Giants ruining their perfect season the last time they saw each other in the championship game. 

It was the Giants striking the first blow, with Tom Brady having a brain fart and throwing the ball to No Man's Land while he was in the end zone. It was ruled intentional grounding thus giving the Giants two points on a safety. Victor Cruz would then make it 9-0 after his touchdown grab, but Brady would charge down the field at the end of the first half in a 9-3 game and give his team the lead with a touchdown. 

Fast forward now to the fourth quarter: the Pats are up 17-15 and the Giants are deep in their own zone with less than four minutes to go. The play of the game ensued when Eli Manning launched a ball down the left sideline into a sliver of daylight for Mario Manningham to catch it and keep two feet in. A few plays later Ahmad Bradshaw would literally sit in the end zone to give the Giants at 21-17 lead. 

Still, Brady had some time to work with before the game ended, but the Pats needed a touchdown for the victory. Brady would get his offense down the field enough for a final Hail Mary, but Rob Gronkowski couldn't haul in the deflection and the Giants stunned New England once again on the biggest stage in football. 

Manning is also your Super Bowl MVP once again after showing his late-game leadership. As we come to the end of this decade, it's also the end of an era for Manning moments like this. 

Tags: Alex Rodriguez, Eli Manning, Yoenis Cespedes
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Count Yankees infielder Gleyber Torres among the many MLB players who don't believe that the Astros' sign-stealing scheme ended before 2019.

Asked Monday at spring training if he thinks the Astros were cheating in 2019, Torres said "yeah, for sure."

Reminded about the denials of Astros players that their scheme extended that far, Torres was clear.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, Masahiro Tanaka, Danny Abriano
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Live batting practice has already started for the Yankees, and Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ were on hand to pitch to live hitters for the first time this spring. Check them out, along with Miguel Andujar getting outfield reps with Aaron Judge.

Tags: Aaron Judge, J.A. Happ, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar
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What will the Yankees get out of Giancarlo Stanton this season? 

It's one of the bigger questions heading into spring training, as the former MVP battled through multiple injuries last season that led to playing only a few scattered games in the regular season and postseason. And even in those contests, Stanton's presence was felt. 

Manager Aaron Boone will hope it's a presence he can consistently put in his lineup. Having Stanton around the likes of Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres and the rest of this stacked lineup makes it that much more scary for Yankees opponents. And it looks like that's what will happen right away at spring training, as Boone says Stanton is a full go. 

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar, Scott Thompson
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Brett Gardner (Noah K. Murray)
Brett Gardner (Noah K. Murray)

Yankees OF Brett Gardner has filed a restraining order against an obsessed fan, and the Yankees want her banned from all ballparks around the league, per NJ.com's Brendan Kuty

Gardner went to civil court last Thursday to make sure Gina Devasahayam, 46, stays away from him and his family. Devasahayam has claimed that she's Gardner's "future wife" among many other comments about the two of them despite never meeting. 

In August, Devasahayam, who says she is a "biotech entrepreneur," attempted to sneak in to the visitor's clubhouse at Camden Yards in Baltimore when the Yankees were in town to face the Orioles. She went in to see Gardner, but security kicked her out. 

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Like many Yankees last season, OF Mike Tauchman was called upon to fill in for starters that hit the IL. Between the injuries for Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, and Aaron Judge, Tauchman had plenty of opportunities to impress in his first season as a Yankee, and he did just that. 

Until the injury bug caught up with him toward the end of the season. 

A Grade 2 calf strain suffered at the beginning of September ended Tauchman's campaign, as the Yankees lost yet another key contributor to their lineup. Stanton, Miguel Andujar, and later on Luke Voit would join that list as well. 

Tags: Clint Frazier, Gio Urshela, Tyler Wade, Scott Thompson
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Gerrit Cole
Gerrit Cole

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Brian Cashman gave Gerrit Cole the richest contract in pitching history, so it's no surprise that the Yankees GM believes his new ace is going to sparkle in his first season in pinstripes. 

That's no rogue opinion. Cashman is far from the only one in baseball who is confident in Cole, the explosive righty who signed a $324 million deal during the offseason. In recent conversations with SNY.tv, opposing scouts and executives raved about Cole and it's clear that the rest of the industry believes the Yanks finally have the kind of rotation-topper who can dominate a season and in October. 

"Now they got their No. 1 guy," said a longtime MLB scout. "No more excuses." 

Tags: James Paxton, Anthony McCarron
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With Yankees position players trickling in to spring training in Tampa, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton were some of the first to arrive on Monday morning.

Click below to see...

Tags: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton
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Feb 16, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) and manager Aaron Boone (17) talk works out during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 16, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) and manager Aaron Boone (17) talk works out during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Day 4 of Spring Training at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida, saw the Yankees get several pitchers extended work on the field and sides Sunday morning and afternoon.

Chief among New York's arms in action was ace right-hander Gerrit Cole, who attracted a crowd and threw live batting practice, exiting the mound to cheers from fans on hand.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone met the media after the group's latest workout, doling out updates on Cole and a handful multiple other starters. Below are five takeaways from Boone's latest session.

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With the offseason closing, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred held his first press conference of the new year and his first since releasing the league's report on their investigation into the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal.

His opening statement on the Astros sign-stealing scandal...

"When we began our investigation after we became aware of the Houston situation, we started with an important and fundamental goal, and that goal was to make sure that we found the facts, completed the investigation, figured out what was going on and put ourselves in the position to be as transparent with our fans and the other clubs as possible."

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Gerrit Cole faced his first batters as a member of the Yankees on Sunday morning -- albeit they were his teammates -- and got a stand ovation from the crowd of fans in attendance after his final pitch of the day.

With the Yankees among the favorites to win the World Series this upcoming season, Cole is sure to play an integral part in that chase, and that all starts with spring training.

Cole said after the day that he's been communicating well with catcher Gary Sanchez and is learning from his new teammates.

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Gerrit Cole spoke to reporters after facing live batters for the first time in Yankees gear Sunday morning, and discussed what it was like to really get some fresh work in with his new teammates and to see the New York fans.

On first real day of training with Gary Sanchez

"It was good. I thought Gary and I did some good work, we hit our target in terms of volume and I'm coming out of it feeling good, feeling pretty fresh. It was an exciting atmosphere today too, a little more adrenaline than usual."

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Jun 22, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; A general view of New York Yankees hat and glove laying in the dugout at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Jun 22, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; A general view of New York Yankees hat and glove laying in the dugout at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Former Yankees and Mets infielder Tony Fernandez died on Saturday at the age of 57 after suffering a brain stroke that came with complications from polycystic kidney disease.

Fernandez is most notably known as a Blue Jays legend, winning four Gold Gloves, going to five All Star games and winning a World Series title during his time in Toronto, but he did spend two stints in New York -- in both Queens and The Bronx.

Leaving the Padres after two seasons, Fernandez joined the Mets in 1993, but the stay was short lived. After a disappointing start to the season, he was traded back up to Toronto, where he played a big role in the Blue Jays winning the World Series later that season.

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After undergoing surgery to remove a peridiscal cyst earlier this month, James Paxton will begin the season on the Yankees' injured list. 

The left-hander is expected to miss 3-4 months, but said on Saturday that he's optimistic he's going to have a quick recovery.

"It's all going to depend on how things go in this rehab process," Paxton said. "They told me 4-6 weeks before I can start throwing, so if we're on the closer side of that, that's going to put me two weeks closer to being on the mound. I'm thinking that I'll be back in a big league game some time in May."

Tags: James Paxton
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It was a busy day in Tampa, Fla. as Yankees pitchers and catchers continued to put work in on the practice fields.

Aroldis Chapman threw off a mound in the bullpen, under the watchful eye of both the coaching staff and some high-performance analysis cameras. 

Pitchers J.A. Happ and David Hale threw off of flat ground in the outfield, while Luis Serverino and Gerrit Cole were put through the paces of pitcher fielding practice, a time-honored Spring Training tradition.

Finally, Gary Sanchez took some swings in the cage while Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman looked on.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, David Hale, J.A. Happ, Luis Severino
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Yankees manager Aaron Boone spoke at spring training in Tampa, Fla. on Saturday to discuss Chad Green's role this season along with how Gary Sanchez looks and the depth of the team's catchers behind him.

On Chad Green's role in 2020

"I don't know if I envision [his role] as being different. With Greeny, he brings a lot to the table being a multi-inning reliever. We've used him in the opener scenarios. We've even toyed with him as a starter. But he can be one of our high-leverage set-up guys, as well. I feel like his versatility to gives us an edge to our blend down there. He's kind of our Swiss Army knife. He can fill a lot of roles down there and that's really how I see him."

Tags: Chad Green, Gary Sanchez
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Oct 27, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1) and second baseman Jose Altuve (27) celebrate after beating the Washington Nationals in game five of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Oct 27, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1) and second baseman Jose Altuve (27) celebrate after beating the Washington Nationals in game five of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

While MLB's investigation of the Astros only confirmed electronic sign-stealing efforts in 2017, many have pointed to Jose Altuve adamantly insisting that his teammates not rip off his jersey after his ALCS-clinching home run against the Yankees as proof the scheme hadn't stopped.

But in an interview with The Athletic released on Saturday, shortstop Carlos Correa offered a new, albeit puzzling, explanation.

Correa was responding to comments made by reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger, who blasted Altuve for stealing an MVP from Aaron Judge in 2017, along with pointing to the controversy surrounding his home run off of Aroldis Chapman to send the Astros to the World Series in 2019.

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Jul 26, 2019; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Chad Bettis (35) throws against the Cincinnati Reds during the ninth inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)
Jul 26, 2019; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Chad Bettis (35) throws against the Cincinnati Reds during the ninth inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)

The Yankees have signed right-handed pitcher Chad Bettis, according to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. MLB Network's Jon Heyman reports that Bettis will head to Yankees camp on a minor-league deal.

Bettis, who turns 31 in April, has pitched his entire big-league career with the Rockies, debuting in 2013. His best season came in 2016, when the right-hander made 32 starts, going 14-8 with a 4.70 ERA.

But after a testicular cancer diagnosis that offseason, Bettis missed most of that season, returning in August to make nine starts. He went 2-4 with a 5.05 ERA.

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On Friday, SNY's MLB Insider Andy Martino sat down with Yankees manager Aaron Boone for an exclusive interview to talk about the upcoming season.

During the 2019 season, Gio Urshela started 109 games at third base for the Yanks with 24-year-old Miguel Andujar sidelined for most of the season. With Andujar coming back from an injury-filled season, Martino asked Boone if Urshela is locked in as the starter at third base for the Bombers in 2020.

"I think to some degree we're always in competition," Boone said. "We feel like Gio has shown himself to be our third baseman. And what he's able to do on both sides of the ball. He's also got to continue to go out there and earn those regular at-bats. Because we feel, like obviously, we have a lot of capable people that when guys fall off a little bit, there's going to be a fight for playing time."

Tags: Gio Urshela, Miguel Andujar
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Brian Cashman took the time to speak with reporters on Friday afternoon at Yankees spring training in Tampa, Fla., and discussed his thoughts on the different aspects of the Houston Astros cheating scandal.

His reaction to Astros' apologies

"It's best for us now to start moving forward. What has happened in the past, obviously we're upset, our ownership's upset, our front office is upset, our players that were with us in '17 especially were upset, and understandably so. And there's nothing really to do about that at this stage and going forward. It's healthiest for the game as we move forward and focus on the present and the future and try to leave the past in the past, and the people that are responsible for this conversation that's being forced to be covered and take place, to answer for it and discuss it more so than us. I think it's probably the healthiest thing to do."

"Obviously we work very hard to try create a window of winning and there's no guarantee how long those windows are open, so we're still focused on trying to push through that final tier of our window of opportunity and our efforts to become a world champion again."

Tags: Carlos Beltran
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Yankees manager Aaron Boone spoke at spring training in Tampa, Fla. on Friday afternoon about this season's high expectations, Gary Sanchez's health, his impressions of pitching prospect Deivi Garcia and more.

On what makes him think J.A. Happ can have a bounce-back season

"One, track record. Two, I think when we do a little bit of digging, and this is something we try and communicate with J.A., that the results weren't as good as we feel like he threw the ball last year. And I think if you look at a lot of his outings last year, it felt like there were a number of times that he was pitching really well and then maybe a long ball got him and kind of wrecked the outing a little bit for him. We obviously feel like he threw the ball well down the stretch for us, and even in the playoffs."

"Feel like the work he's done this winter has put him in a good position and comes in at a really good place that I fully expect him to be the J.A. Happ we've seen most of his career."

Happ struggled in his first full season in New York, finishing 2019 12-8 with a 4.91 ERA and 34 home runs allowed in 161.1 innings pitched.

Tags: Gary Sanchez
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Dodgers center fielder and reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger did not hold back when making comments Friday morning on the Astros' sign-stealing scandal.

Bellinger was a member of the Dodgers team that fell to the Astros in the 2017 World Series after seven games, and he feels cheated, to say the least.

"I thought the apologies were whatever. I thought Jim Crane's was weak. (Robert) Manfred's punishment was weak, giving them immunity. I mean these guys were cheating for three years. I think what people don't realize is (Jose) Altuve stole an MVP from (Aaron) Judge in '17. Everyone knows they stole the ring from us," Bellinger said to reporters at Dodgers spring training.

Tags: Aaron Judge
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Aug 14, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ (34) pitches against the Baltimore Orioles in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 14, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ (34) pitches against the Baltimore Orioles in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

J.A. Happ is happy to still be a part of the Yankees organization heading into spring training and the upcoming 2020 season, considering there was the possibility of his being moved after the team signed Gerrit Cole to a monster $324 million contract.

Speaking to reporters down in Tampa, Fla., Happ said he reached out to Yankees GM Brian Cashman during the offseason in the midst of the trade rumors swirling around him.

"I understand that that's kind of the nature of the business. But I'm certainly happy I'm here," Happ said. "...This is the place I'd like to be, for sure."

Happ said he texted Cole "Hopefully we're teammates again" once he signed with the Yankees back in December -- the pitchers were both members of the Pirates back in 2015.

Tags: J.A. Happ
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Yankees RHP Gerrit Cole (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Yankees RHP Gerrit Cole (Danielle Parhizkaran)

MLB Network counted down their top 100 players in baseball right now, and the Yankees' new ace cracked the top 10.

Gerrit Cole, who signed to a massive nine-year, $324 million deal with the Bronx Bombers this offseason, came in at number 7 on the list, the highest rated pitcher, coming in exactly one spot ahead of back-to-back Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom.

The right-hander's lucrative contract was warranted, though, as he's been one of the most dominating pitchers in the game over the past two years, while also winning 19 games and making the All-Star Game as a Pirate in 2015.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, J.A. Happ, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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The hot topic as Yankees pitchers and catchers report for spring training in Tampa, Fla. continues to be the team's reaction to the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal and the fallout that's come with it. 

Everyone on the Yankees from Aaron Boone to Gary Sanchez to Aroldis Chapman has weighed in on the issue, and now the real question becomes: how long will these questions continue to linger?

SNY's Andy Martino and Sweeny Murti discussed that very question on Thursday in Tampa, with Murti saying it makes sense that pitchers and catchers have been so frustrated by the scandal.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Gary Sanchez
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Newest Yankee Gerrit Cole may not have been a part of the Astros during the 2017 season where they were found guilty of sign-stealing by MLB, but there is still the notion that it continued up until last year. 

Cole spent the past two seasons down in Houston, so in his first spring training presser on Thursday, it was a given that he would be asked what he knew about the situation while it was happening. 

But he said he wasn't aware it was going on at all with his team. 

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Gerrit Cole is getting all the spotlight down at Yankees spring training, but a very valuable piece of the rotation is his right-hand man in Luis Severino

The Yankees' No. 2 had a very strong return despite it only being a handful of games at the end of the regular season and postseason. Severino is hoping to build off those appearances this season, and it all started with his first spring training workout on Thursday. 

Check out Severino getting some throws in alongside Adam Ottavino and Jordan Montgomery to name a few...

Tags: Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino
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Going back and forth with his answers on Thursday morning, Astros owner Jim Crane told reporters that he didn't believe his team's sign stealing during the 2017 season in which Houston won the World Series affected the Yankees. 

Manager Aaron Boone may not have been at the helm until the 2018 season, but even he knows that comment is simply insane to make. 

"I think that's quite a stretch," he said with a smile. "On what level did it impact things, I guess we will never know and that's for people to draw their own conclusions on. Clearly when we're talking about some of the things that went on, those things have an effect on games."

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Somewhere, CC Sabathia just put his foot through a TV. 

Astros owner Jim Crane, along with new manager Dusty Baker and players Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve, addressed the sign-stealing scandal for the first time at their spring training facility in Florida on Thursday morning.

And Yankees fans -- even the players themselves -- won't like what he said. 

Tags: CC Sabathia, Scott Thompson
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Feb 12, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) arrives as pitchers and catchers report for spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 12, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) arrives as pitchers and catchers report for spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Yankees know they will be without James Paxton to start the regular season, as he had surgery to remove a cyst from his back before the start of spring training. The initial recovery time was three-to-four months, and Paxton provided an update on Thursday. 

Paxton said he can start throwing again in four-to-six weeks, while that three-to-four month timeframe before he can get into a game remains the same. May or June is the target, but Paxton said he is shooting for May. 

"Big Maple" went into detail about why it took so long for him to undergo surgery for the cyst.

Doctors didn't know there was a cyst, but he pitched through it anyway during the 2019 postseason. It was in November when Paxton began feeling pain down his left leg, which was treated with injections, and it wasn't until January that doctors figured out what was ailing him. 

Tags: J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Scott Thompson
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When Jose Altuve hit a 2-1 slider from Aroldis Chapman out of the ballpark in Game 6 of the 2019 ALCS in Houston to send the Astros to the World Series, a wry smile came across Chapman's face.

Nearly four months later, in the wake of the Astros sign-stealing scandal that has rocked the baseball world, two questions come to mind:

Did Altuve know what was coming, and did he refuse to allow his teammates to rip his jersey off during the home plate celebration because there was a buzzer underneath it?

Speaking Thursday at Yankees camp in Tampa, Chapman called Altuve's behavior after hitting the home run "suspicious."

Tags: Aroldis Chapman
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Back in front of the media for the first press conference since the 2019 season ended, Yankees manager Aaron Boone was an open book Wednesday morning. As the Yankees started to arrive at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida, for pitchers' and catchers' report date, Spring Training is underway with Thursday's first workout.

The Yankees get back on the diamond after an eventful offseason, one that saw New York sign ace right-handed pitcher Gerrit Cole to a historic $324 million deal for nine years, while the Houston Astros' electronic sign-stealing scandal lingers. Boone addressed both Cole and the Astros at multiple points during the start-of-spring availability.

Elsewhere in the session, Boone brought the media up to speed on an abundance of team-related questions that loomed from the offseason. Along those lines, below are six takeaways from Boone's presser delving into the statuses of several key players.

Tags: Domingo German, Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Jordan Montgomery, Miguel Andujar
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Feb 12, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) throws as pitchers and catchers report for spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 12, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) throws as pitchers and catchers report for spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Luis Severino returned in time to make an impact on the Yankees down the stretch of the 2019 season and into the playoffs, but the two-time All-Star from 2017-18 is looking for more with a clean slate for 2020.

After missing the first five and a half months of last year, starting on the 10-day injured list March 25 with right shoulder rotator cuff inflammation and a Grade 2 lat strain, the combination of the two ailments moved him to the 60-day injured list April 25.

But Severino came back to make three regular-season starts Sept. 17, 22 and 28, going 1-1 with a 1.50 earned-run average and 17 strikeouts to six walks in 12.0 innings pitched. As he hits the reset button, Severino has one goal on his mind.

Tags: Luis Severino
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Feb 12, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) throws during a bullpen session as pitchers and catchers report for spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 12, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) throws during a bullpen session as pitchers and catchers report for spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Yankees pitchers and catchers had their first workout down in Tampa on Wednesday, but all eyes were focused on one pitcher in particular: Gerrit Cole

Wearing his No. 45 jersey and new Yankees cap, Cole threw a light, 25-pitch bullpen session to Gary Sanchez. And though it wasn't anything special, the fact that Cole was wearing the pinstripes is still a sight to see. 

"The kind of work that he has done the last couple of years has been unreal," Sanchez told reporters. "So to have that opportunity to add someone like him, one of the best in the game, to our team makes us much stronger.

Tags: Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino, Scott Thompson
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His players addressed the Astros' sign-stealing scandal down at the Yankees' facility in Tampa, and manager Aaron Boone to do the same as his squad kicked off spring training on Wednesday.

Boone was specifically asked about the rumors of the Astros wearing electronic buzzers underneath their jerseys during games that would relay pitches to them in real time. Is he confident, after MLB's thorough investigation on the matter, that Houston wasn't using these buzzers?

"No. I mean that's certainly one of those great unknowns" he said.

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Carlos Beltran (Treated Image by SNY)
Carlos Beltran (Treated Image by SNY)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

TAMPA -- On Wednesday morning, when one good friend of Carlos Beltran's saw the back page of the New York Post, which labeled Beltran "The Godfather," he felt physically ill.

"I almost threw up," the friend said.

Many people around the game maintain a strong affection for Beltran. Even Yankees officials, who have been annoyed about Beltran's role in the Astros' 2017 sign-stealing scheme, have felt that the demonization of their former employee has gone too far.

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Andy Martino
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Gary Sanchez was ready to catch the slider Aroldis Chapman threw to Jose Altuve in Game 6 of the ALCS down in Houston. Instead, it went over the wall and ended the Yankees' hopes to reach the World Series last season. 

But, of course, with the sign-stealing scandal shocking the baseball world and heavily affecting the Yankees, Sanchez fielded questions about his reactions to the situation at the team's spring training facility in Tampa on Wednesday.

A former teammate in CC Sabathia voiced his frustrations about feeling cheated out of a potential World Series title, and Sanchez holds that same sentiment. 

Tags: Gary Sanchez, Scott Thompson
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The Yankees held their first official day of spring training on Wednesday, as pitchers and catchers all reported. 

James Paxton was among them, and though he won't be able to participate in normal workouts after having a cyst removed from his back, he was still all smiles has he embraced teammates upon returning to Tampa.

Check out Aroldis Chapman, Brian Cashman and more making their way to the facility...

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, James Paxton
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Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton (Treated Image by SNY)
Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton (Treated Image by SNY)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Giancarlo Stanton figures to be heavily scrutinized during Yankee camp this spring, perhaps even more so than the new pinstriped ace, $324-million man Gerrit Cole.  

Bring on the glare. Judging from what GM Brian Cashman says about Stanton, whose 2019 season was wrecked by multiple injuries, the slugger is "looking forward to reminding the fans of baseball that he's still an elite player." 

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony McCarron
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Mike Ford
Mike Ford

As Yankees first baseman Mike Ford prepares for his third spring training with the team down in Tampa, Fla., he knows that this upcoming season can be something special, especially with the addition of Gerrit Cole to their pitching rotation.

Ford stated that "some great stuff" went through his mind when he heard the Yankees signed the offseason's biggest gem.

"He brings a dynamic that's crazy," Ford said Tuesday in Tampa. "He bolsters out staff that's already awesome, so to have him -- probably the top pitcher in the game -- couldn't be happier. Definitely glad they got him."

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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

It's rare when nearly everyone agrees on something, which is what made the harsh negative reactions to Joel Sherman's exclusive report Monday about Major League Baseball's potential new playoff format so unique.

At first glance, the idea of going from 10 to 14 playoff teams -- including four wild cards in each league, with only one division winner automatically advancing to the league division series -- seemed terrible. At second glance -- and with more time to wrap my head around it -- it seemed even worse. 

Adding on to the awfulness of the playoff expansion itself was the reported reasoning behind it, which revolved around a "reality TV twist" where certain teams pick their opponents. And a desire by commissioner Rob Manfred and MLB to satisfy networks and advertising partners.

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Aaron Boone
Aaron Boone

Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

It's been said for the past two seasons, but third time's the charm: Yankees manager Aaron Boone has some high expectations this season. 

"World Series or bust" has been the mantra for this loaded Yankees roster, and though they've made the postseason in both of them, they couldn't make it to their desired destination to compete for the franchise's 28th title. 

There were holes on each of those rosters entering spring training, of course, but it's hard to find one this season unless you want to be nitpicky. Gerrit Cole is the expected answer to the starting pitching question that had lingered over GM Brian Cashman's roster. And if they can stay away from the injury bug -- that didn't even faze them last season anyway -- the Yankees would definitely have what it takes to win it all this season. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Austin Romine, Domingo German, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Jordan Montgomery, Kyle Higashioka, Luis Severino, Miguel Andujar, Scott Thompson
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Feb 25, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA;New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) smiles during the third inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 25, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA;New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) smiles during the third inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Yankees, after adding Gerrit Cole and watching the Red Sox trade Mookie Betts and David Price to the Dodgers, are expected to run away with the AL East in 2020. 

PECOTA's annual projections came out on Tuesday, and their 2020 standings have the Yanks doing just that.

The PECOTA projections, which are often on the more conservative side when it comes to win totals, have New York winning 99 games and winning the division by 12 games over the second-place Rays.

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Oct 21, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; during game seven of the 2017 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports (Thomas Shea)
Oct 21, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; during game seven of the 2017 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports (Thomas Shea)

Amidst one of the more controversial offseasons in the sport's history, Major League Baseball is consiering a massive overhaul to its playof system beginning in 2022, according to the New York Post.

After introducing the Wild Card game to expand the playoffs from eight teams to 10 in 2012, the new system would potentially include 14 playoff teams, three division winners and four wild card teams. The team with the best record in each league would automatically advance to the Division Series, leaving the remaining six teams to play in a Wild Card round.

The most radical change would be a Selection Sunday-type show in which the two division winners not receiving a bye to the Divison Series would get to choose their opponent in the Wild Card round from the bottom-three Wild Card teams. That would would be a best-of-three series, all of which would be played at that team's home stadium. The other division winner would pick from the remaining two teams, and the top Wild Card team would host the other Wild Card team that wasn't selected.

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What became known as the "Pine Tar Game" occurred on July 24, 1983, between the Yankees and Royals. 

As the story went down in history at Yankee Stadium, George Brett hit a two-run home run with his team trailing 4-3 in the ninth inning, that is, until the pine tar caused the play to be overturned. 

His home run was called off and a regular season game in July turned into an iconic moment in baseball history as Brett stormed from the Royals dugout to protest the play.

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Asked Monday at Yankees spring training in Tampa, Fla. whether he felt "cheated" out of a potential World Series title by the Astros sign-stealing scandal, Masahiro Tanaka was clear.

"Yeah," Tanaka said. "You do feel that way. You do feel that way."

"I don't know if mad is the right word," Tanaka added about it. "It's something that's out of the rule. They're obviously not abiding by the rules, so yeah. That's what I thought."

Tags: Masahiro Tanaka, Danny Abriano
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Aug 27, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) in the fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Aug 27, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) in the fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

The Boston Red Sox have officially agreed to trade Mookie Betts and David Price to the Los Angeles Dodgers, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Sunday evening.

Outfielder Alex Verdugo, shortstop Jeter Downs, and catching prospect Connor Wong will be sent to Boston in exchange for Betts, Price, and cash, per Passan

The Dodgers will also trade pitcher Kenta Maeda and $10 million to the Minnesota Twins for pitcher Brusdar Graterol and the Twins' Comp B draft pick in 2020, according to Ken Rosenthal.

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Yankees manager Aaron Boone (Troy Taormina )
Yankees manager Aaron Boone (Troy Taormina )

Aaron Boone is entering his third year as manager of the Yankees. And if his last two seasons are any indication of a trend, this year should mean a World Series appearance. 

The Yankees didn't make it past the ALDS in 2018, but advanced to the ALCS this past season and we all know how that one finished against the Astros. But the expectations heading into each of those seasons remains the same now: this is a World Series-caliber roster that got even better. 

Gerrit Cole is the main reason for that, with the Yankees finally having an ace to lead their rotation. Luis Severino is also expected to have a comeback season after a strong late-season comeback. In a lengthy Q&A with The Post's Steve Serby, Boone touched on that combination at the top of his staff. 

Tags: James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Scott Thompson
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Yankees' Miguel Andujar, Gerrit Cole and Giancarlo Stanton (Treated Image by SNY)
Yankees' Miguel Andujar, Gerrit Cole and Giancarlo Stanton (Treated Image by SNY)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

They won 103 games last season despite an historic number of injuries, then signed the best pitcher in the American League away from their biggest threat, ratcheting up expectations to the height of the Joe Torre years.

And then last week the Yankees announced that James Paxton had back surgery that could cause him to miss at least the first couple of months of the season -- an eerie reminder that nothing is ever guaranteed in sports. 

So welcome to the start of spring training, where the most important goal will be to get through six weeks in Tampa with everyone not named Paxton ready for Opening Day. 

Tags: Clint Frazier, Deivi Garcia, Giancarlo Stanton, James Paxton, Miguel Andujar, John Harper
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 (Troy Taormina )
(Troy Taormina )

While pitchers and catchers aren't scheduled to officially report to the Yankees spring training complex in Tampa, Fla. until Wednesday, some of them have begun to file in a bit early. 

Chad Green is one of those players, and as expected, he was asked about the topic that continues to dominate the baseball world.

"My initial reaction was just frustration, I guess,'' Green said, speaking of course about the Astros' sign-stealing scandal. "I think that's the initial reaction,'' Anybody is gonna be upset about it a little bit. But you move forward." 

 

Tags: Chad Green
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