A Historic Collapse: The Mets held a seven-game lead with 17 to play and were caught looking ahead to the playoffs. What followed was among the worst collapses in history and one that revealed the weaknesses of the players, the manager and the general manager. Jose Reyes and his questionable -- and downright poor -- play summed up the the performance on the field. Manager Willie Randolph's mismanagement of the bullpen came to light more down the stretch. So did Omar Minaya's complete neglect of the roster's periphery. The Mets trotted out inexperienced and ineffective pitchers down the stretch, and the bullpen that Randolph had to deal with wasn't that good to begin with thanks to some questionable trades. What this means for the 2008 season remains to be seen, but it cost the Mets fans Lastings Milledge, another symbol of the collapse. He was dumpeddealt to the Nationals for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider. - Tom Boorstein

A-Rod Sets Records, Says Goodbye, Comes Back Crawling: Alex Rodriguez had a remarkable year on and off the field. He hit his 500th home run, won another MVP and pounded out a lot of clutch hits. Off the field he went around Toronto with a stripper and disrupted the World Series by opting out of his contract. It all ended well for Alex as he made amends with the Steinbrenner boys and “settled” for a 10-year/$275 million deal. - Peter Trinkle

2007_12_knicksfantasy.jpgThe Knicks Stink it Up: 2007 saw the Kncks’ reputation sink to new lows. Not satisfied with embarrassing themselves on the hardwood, the Knicks foolishly decided to contest Anucha Browne Sanders sexual harassment suit and embarrassed themselves in the court of law. From Jim Dolan’s sweat suit to the details of Stephon Marbury’s sexual exploits, the Knicks were humiliated and found guilty. While the organization eventually settled instead of appealing and they maintain their innocence, no one believes them or thinks that this team will ever turn itself around as long as Isiah Thomas is in charge. Fans are so fed up that they chant 'Fire Isiah' at almost every home game and have signed a giant pink slip. - Peter Trinkle

MLB Releases the Mitchell Report: Baseball’s dirty past came to light with the release of the Mitchell Report. Two years of investigations, countless interviews and the cooperation of some federally indicted witnesses produced a list of around 80 names headlined by Roger Clemens. While Clemens still maintains his innocence and has hired private investigators to look into Brian McNamee, his Yankees teammate and training partner Andy Pettitte has admitted to using performance enhancing drugs. The Mitchell Report has caused many people, including Curt Schilling, to question Clemens' records and perhaps his future in baseball's Hall of Fame. - Peter Trinkle

The End of Two Yankee Eras: Joe Torre, a New York instituion, left the Yankees on his own terms when he turned down their incentive-laden contract, eventually heading west for the Dodgers. And, while Joe Girardi is the new manager, the Yankees have a new spokesperson, Hank Steinbrenner. Hank, George’s eldest son, replaced his father as the face of Yankees’ ownership in 2007. While he hasn’t been in charge for long, “Hankenstein” has proved to be an entertaining figure and Yankees’ fans should expect to hear plenty from the new boss in 2008. - Peter Trinkle

Let's Go Rangers!: The Rangers’ revival continued in 2007. After 2006’s flameout, New York shook off an early season slump and stormed into the playoffs. They swept Atlanta in the first round and then played an intense six-game series with Buffalo. They didn’t beat the Sabres, but they grabbed two big free agents in Scott Gomez and Chris Drury to help them the next time the playoffs roll around. The resurgence of the Rangers can perhaps give hope to fans of the other team that plays at Madison Square Garden. - Peter Trinkle

2007_12_sgiantseagles.jpgPlayoffs for Football Teams: Both the Jets and the Giants made the playoffs from the 2006 season, but their lives in 2007 were short-lived. Neither loss was that suspenseful or unexpected. That said, it produced different feelings among the two clubs. For the Giants, it capped a second-half swoon and the career of Tiki Barber, who didn't look too disappointed running off the field. After an unceremonious 23-0 loss the year before, it was more of the same. The Jets' loss capped a surprisingly successful season. No one knew then that they wouldn't back it up in the fall. Instead of the fatalism of the Giants, it triggered optimism. As it turned out, only the Giants' feeling was half-warranted. - Tom Boorstein

Gangrenous Gang Green: The Jets didn't want the biggest story surrounding them to be their role as victims in the infamous Patriots videotape scandal, but that's how 2007 went. After bowing out in a first-round playoff game to New England back in January, New York had a nasty surprise for its rival when the 2007 season opened in September. Coach Eric Mangini, a disciple of Patriots head man Bill Belichick, alerted the league to a Patriots cameraman attempting to film the Jets' defensive signals. If Mangini thought this would help his team in the long run, he was wrong. If he thought it would help the league stop the Patriots, he was wrong. Either that or it didn't help enough -- the Patriots went 16-0 in the regular season. Injuries to key players -- including a perpetually pained wide receiver corps and Jonathan Vilma -- undermined the Jets' effort to build on 2006. Chad Pennington proved ineffective as a quarterback and ended up handing the reins over to Kellen Clemens, who managed to show flashes of talent but also some liabilities. This season didn't do much but create more questions that need answers. That and remind fans that nothing is easy for Gang Green. - Tom Boorstein

Federer Continues to Dominate Flushing Meadows: Roger Federer can keep adding those Swiss crosses to his shoes. On his U.S. Open footwear, he has four, representing the titles from 2004-2007. His defeat of Novak Djokovic in this year's final wasn't vintage Federer, but it did cap the second straight year he won three of the sport's four Grand Slam tournaments. Only the French Open has eluded Federer, who has set the record for consecutive weeks at No. 1 and has 12 Grand Slam wins -- two shy of Pete Sampras' career record. He has put on display of brilliance after display of brilliance in New York during his reign, and, though his 2007 season didn't quite equal the impossible standard he has set for himself, Federer figures to be around the courts in Flushing Meadows for a while. - Tom Boorstein


Stadiums For Everyone!: There's no shortage of stadium development for local sports teams. Name a local team and it's probably got a new stadium, a stadium under construction, a planned stadium, or could very well have a new stadium in their future. The Devils opened their new arena in downtown Newark this season, which Barry Melrose likes...except for the fact it's downtown. Both the Mets and the Yankees have their new stadiums well under way. Both Citi Field and the new Yankee Stadium are scheduled to open for the 2009 baseball season. Baseball will bid farewell to The House That Ruth Built with the 2008 All-Star Game. Shea will just honored with a logo to celebrate its 45th and final year. While they languish in the Meadowlands, the Nets can cross their fingers on the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Their fellow Meadowlands tenants the Giants and Jets are, in the spirit of love and cooperation, building a stadium together at the Meadowlands while the Red Bulls are building a stadium in Harrison, NJ. Even the Knicks and Rangers could get a new Madison Square Garden in the new Moynihan Station. - Tien Mao

Photo of Mets dugout by AP/Kathy Willens; Photo of Alex Rodriguez hitting #500 by AP/Bill Kostroun; Photo of Tiki Barber and Donte Stallworth by AP/Julie Jacobson