Andrew Battifarano

The Yankees (67-52) begin a four-game series with the Indians (55-64) on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium.

Ivan Nova?(5-4, 3.57 ERA) will start for the Yankees and will oppose RHP Josh Tomlin?(0-1, 2.84 ERA) at 7:05 p.m. ET.

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The Hockey News ranked all 30 NHL minor league systems and placed the Islanders 13th overall in the league with an overall B grade (The Hockey News).

The rankings also included the top-10 players in the system, and forward Michael Dal Colle?was ranked as the team's best prospect.

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Victor Cruz, who injured his calf earlier this week, told reporters Thursday that he does not expect to play in the Giants' preseason game against the Jaguars on Saturday (Aug. 20).

Cruz hurt his calf during Monday's practice, and has sat out Wednesday and Thursday. Despite that, he?said the injury is "minor."

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On the strength of rookie Greg Bird's first two major league home runs, the Yankees swept the Twins,?winning 4-3.


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Muhammad Wilkerson is not practicing on Wednesday and won't be playing in the Jets' preseason game against the Falcons on Friday, Manish Mehta of the Daily News Reports (Aug. 19).

Wilkerson, who has been dealing with a hamstring injury,?has been limited in practices throughout training camp.

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In its annual season yearbook, The Hockey News ranked John Tavares?No. 6 on its top-50 players list.

THN notes that the Islanders' captain has put himself among "elite company," as he has finished as a Hart Trophy finalist two out of the last three years. Had Stars forward Jamie Benn not recorded an assist in the final seconds of the regular season, Tavares would've been the league's scoring champion.

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The Yankees (66-52) and Twins (59-60) finish their series on Wednesday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

Nathan Eovaldi?(12-2, 4.26 ERA) gets the start for the Yankees and will oppose RHP?Ervin Santana?(2-3, 5.66 ERA) at 1:05 p.m. ET.

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Dustin Ackley, who has been?on the?15-day disabled list since August 4 due to a herniated disk, does not expect to need back surgery, Brendan Kuty reported (Aug. 18).

Ackley has been throwing recently, took swings off a tee on Tuesday, and plans to swing again on Wednesday, Kuty reported.

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The Mets (63-55) begin a two-game series with the Orioles (61-56) on Tuesday night at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

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The Mets will call up RHP Logan Verrett from Triple-A Las Vegas and bring him to Baltimore, Adam Rubin of ESPN NY reports (Aug. 18).

To make room for Verrett, the Mets will place RHP?Bobby Parnell on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis, the team said.

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In an article for the Wall Street Journal, Chris Herring describes how coach Derek Fisher has given his players summer reading assignments.

Knicks president Phil Jackson, Fisher's former coach with the Lakers, also gave players books to read during his head coaching days.

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In its annual Summer Forecast, an ESPN panel projected the Knicks to finish 14th in the Eastern Conference in 2015-16 (Aug. 17).

The panel said the Knicks will finish with a 25-57 record, which would be an eight-win improvement over the 2014-15 season.

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The Yankees (64-52) begin a three-game series with the Twins (59-58) at Yankee Stadium on Monday night.

Bryan Mitchell?(0-1, 3.72 ERA) gets the start for the Yankees against RHP?Kyle Gibson?(8-9, 3.75 ERA) at 7:05 p.m. ET.

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The Yankees have baseball's 10th-best minor league system, according to MLB.com's Jim Callis (Aug. 14).

Despite not making any moves at the non-waiver trade deadline, Callis says the Yankees were smart in keeping top prospects Aaron Judge and?Luis Severino.?MLB.com ranks Severino and Judge No. 16 and 21, respectively, in its top-100 prospect rankings.

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The Mets (62-52) and the Rockies (47-65) close out their four-game series on Thursday afternoon at Citi Field.

Noah Syndergaard (6-6, 3.01 ERA) gets the start for the Mets against Colorado's RHP Eddie Butler (3-9, 5.50 ERA) at 12:10 p.m. ET.

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The Yankees (61-50) will take on the Indians (52-59) in the second game of their three-game series at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

CC Sabathia (4-8, 5.34 ERA) gets the start for the Yankees and will oppose RHP Danny Salazar (9-6, 3.38 ERA) at 7:10 p.m. ET.

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Nassau Coliseum's playing surface might be gone, but one fan still got use out of the 43-year-old ice.

After the Coliseum shut its doors, the Islanders allowed fans to purchase portions of the melted ice for $20. One fan, who purchased melted ice from the now-defunct arena, used the water for his daughter's baptism (Aug. 11, ESPN).

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The Islanders and veteran defenseman Marek Zidlicky have been in talks about a possible contract, Newsday's Arthur Staple reports (Aug. 12).

Staple added that nothing has been determined, but both sides are interested.

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The Yankees could be interested in adding Phillies 2B Chase Utley, George King of the New York Post reports (Aug. 12).

On Tuesday, Utley, 36, cleared waivers and can now be traded to any team. However, according to FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal, Utley can veto any proposed trade (Aug. 10).

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Linebacker?IK Enemkpali might be disciplined by the NFL under the personal conduct policy for his altercation?with Geno Smith, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports (Aug. 12).

Enemkpali was released by the Jets after the incident, but if another team does sign the linebacker, he could be disciplined by the league for workplace violence.

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With their selection of Kristaps Porzingis, the Knicks may have cost themselves signing?LaMarcus Aldridge, the Daily News reports (Aug. 11).

Aldridge, who signed with the Spurs, was supposed to talk with the Knicks, but canceled his meeting with president Phil Jackson.

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The Mets (60-52) will take on the Rockies (47-63) in the second game of their four-game series on Tuesday night at Citi Field.

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Restricted free agent goaltender Kevin Poulin agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the Islanders, Newsday's Arthur Staple reports (Aug. 11).

According to Staple, Poulin will make $600,000 at the NHL level and $275,000 in the AHL.

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The Devils have signed No. 6 overall pick Pavel Zacha to a three-year, entry level contract, the team announced Tuesday (Aug. 11).

According to the team, the deal has an average annual value of $925,000.

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In a Baseball America poll that ranked the top players in specific categories, MLB managers rated four different Yankees as some of the American League's best (Aug. 10).

Brett Gardner, Dellin Betances, Mark Teixeira and Chris Capuano were each rated as a top-three AL player in at least one category.

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Defensive end Kevin Vickerson has been activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list and will be allowed to practice Monday, the team announced (Aug. 10).

Vickerson, who signed with the Jets in March, had been dealing with a hamstring injury.

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The Giants will wear a patch this season to honor the deaths of former Giant great Frank Gifford and co-owner Ann Mara, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post reports (Aug. 10).

Gifford, 84, died at his Connecticut home of natural causes on Sunday, his family announced.

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Greg Bird, currently playing with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, has been named the International League's Batter of the Week, the league announced Monday (Aug. 10).

Bird, 22, hit .348 for the week, and also led the league with 10 RBIs and a .783 SLG.

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Jets veteran RG Willie Colon said he?believes, despite his age, that he can still win the starter's spot this season (Aug. 10).

Colon, 32, is entering his 10th season in the NFL, and is competing with Brian Winters,?Brent Qvale and?Oday Aboushi for the starting job.

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Jets QB?Geno Smith?was booed by fans during Saturday's Green & White Scrimmage, but the third-year quarterback said he was not bothered by the reaction.

Smith started the night with a few rough passes and was later strip-sacked by linebacker Calvin Pace, leading to more jeers.

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Jets DE?Muhammad Wilkerson?could miss the team's first preseason game against the Lions, head coach Todd Bowles said Saturday (Aug. 8).

Wilkerson hurt his hamstring in what was called a non-serious tweak during last Sunday's practice.?He has not practiced on the field since the injury occurred.

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Wide receiver Chris Owusu has a concussion, Jets head coach Todd Bowles told reporters after Saturday's Green & White Scrimmage (Aug. 8).

According to Bowles, Owusu sustained the concussion during?Friday's practice. Owusu did not play on Saturday and is still going through the concussion protocol.

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Quarterback Eli Manning talked to the media following Thursday's practice. Here are some?things we learned...


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Relief pitcher Jerry Blevins re-injured his left forearm, will undergo surgery and will likely miss the rest of the season, the team announced Thursday (Aug. 6).

Blevins slipped stepping off a curb and re-fractured the distal radial bone in his left arm on Monday. His surgery is set for next week in Boston.

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After working out with Carmelo Anthony this summer, newly acquired SG Arron Afflalo?told Newsday that he?thinks?that Anthony is determined to have a successful, winning season (Aug. 5).

"He's very committed, Afflalo said of Anthony. "He seems very, very, very hungry to succeed. And we'll see. It'll be here shortly."

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The Yankees (60-45) and Red Sox (47-60) will play the second game of their three-game series on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Rookie?Luis Severino?will make his major-league debut and face RHP?Steven Wright?(4-4, 4.53 ERA) at 7:05 p.m. ET.

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The Yankees have re-signed 1B/OF?Garrett Jones?and have officially brought up RHP Luis Severino?to the majors, the team announced Wednesday.

Jones, who was DFA'd on July 31, elected free agency, and has been brought back in the wake of?Dustin Ackley's injury. Jones was hitting .215 with five home runs during his first stint with the Yankees.

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Giants quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan spoke to the media following Wednesday's practice. Here are five things we learned...


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In an article for?Grantland, Jonah Keri writes?a day-by-day account of the roller-coaster week the Mets went through, starting on July 27.

From the Carlos Gomez trade that failed to materialize, to the three-game sweep over the Nationals, Keri gives a detailed look at the week.

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Yankees top pitching prospect?Luis Severino?will make his major-league debut on Wednesday night against the Red Sox.

The recently named No. 17 prospect by Baseball America went 7-0 with a 1.91 ERA and 0.93 WHIP with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He is taking the spot of RHP Michael Pineda, who is out until September with a flexor strain.

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After two inconsistent?seasons with the Jets, QB?Geno Smith?wants his third year?to be one that changes the course of his career in New York.

?I want my legacy here to be better than what it is now,? Smith said to the Daily News on Tuesday. ?The fans are going to chant. They?re going to have fun. We want to put lots of points on the board and give them lots to cheer about, but I just understand that at this position and at this stage of my career, there?s going to be ups and downs," (Aug. 4).

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David Wright?had a full batting practice session on Tuesday afternoon at Marlins Park as he continued his rehab from lumbar spinal stenosis (Aug. 4).

Tuesday is the first of five straight days of hitting for Wright, who will head to Port St. Lucie on Wednesday to continue rehabbing. After those five days, he is expected to begin playing in rehab games for High-A St. Lucie.

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The Mets (56-50) take on the Marlins (43-63) in the second game of a three-game series on Tuesday night at Marlins Park.

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