Link-O-Rama: Umpires Gone Wild!

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* It wasn’t quite as eventful as Carlos Zambrano’s implosion yesterday, but this afternoon’s Twins-Red Sox game just saw home-plate umpire Todd Tichenor eject both starting catchers and both managers in the same inning, about five minutes apart.

Mike Redmond and Ron Gardenire were tossed in the top of the seventh
after a borderline call at the plate went against the Twins and in the
bottom of the frame Jason Varitek and Terry Francona were thrown out
when Josh Beckett didn’t like the strike zone. Beckett avoided
Tichenor’s wrath despite screaming obscenities from the mound by
smartly turning his back and walking toward second base while Varitek
took up the fight.

* The White Sox may not be ready to call up Gordon Beckham yet, but they did promote him to Triple-A yesterday. Beckham’s final line at Double-A: .299/.366/.497 with four homers, 17 doubles, and a 24/14 K/BB ratio in 38 games.

* It took 180 plate appearances, but Bobby Abreu finally hit his first homer
of the season. Now that Abreu and David Ortiz are both off the schneid,
Russell Martin is the closest thing to a power hitter among the 17 guys
who’re still homerless with at least 100 trips to the plate.

* Now that David Price is in the Rays’ rotation and Matt Wieters is
due to arrive in Baltimore tomorrow, can Braves right-hander Tommy
Hanson be very far behind?

* Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com projects the first 20 picks of this year’s draft, which is less than two weeks away. You’ll be absolutely shocked who he has as the No. 1 pick.

Keith Law: The Braves have the best farm system. Who has the worst?

PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 06:  General manager Dave Stewart of the Arizona Diamondbacks laughs on the field before the Opening Day MLB game against the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field on April 6, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Why is this man smiling? Man, I wouldn’t be smiling if I read what I just read.

This is the week when ESPN’s Keith Law releases his prospect and farm system rankings. He kicks off his content this week with a top-to-bottom ranking of all 30 farm systems. As a rule he limits his analysis to players who are currently in the minors and who have not yet exhausted their rookie of the year eligibility.

For the second straight year, Law ranks the Braves as the best system in baseball. Number two — making a big leap from last year’s number 13 ranking – is the New York Yankees. Dead last: the Arizona Diamondbacks, which Law says “Dave Stewart ritually disemboweled” over the past two years. That’s gotta hurt.

If you want to know the reasons and the rankings of everyone in between you’ll have to get an ESPN Insider subscription. Sorry, I know everyone hates to pay for content on the Internet, but Keith and others who do this kind of work put a lot of damn work into it and this is what pays their bills. I typically don’t like to pay for content myself, but I do pay for an ESPN Insider subscription. It’s worth it for Law’s work alone.

The Blue Jays will . . . not be blue some days next year

blue jays logo
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The Toronto Blue Jays, like a lot of teams, will wear an alternate jersey next year. It’ll be for Sunday home games. They call it their “Canadiana,” uniforms. Which, hey, let’s hear it for national pride.

(question to Canada: my grandmother and my three of my four maternal great-grandparents were Canadian. Does that give me any rights to emigrate? You know, just in case? No reason for asking that today. Just curious!).

Anyway, these are the uniforms:

More like RED Jays, am I right?

OK, I am not going to leave this country. I’m going to stay here and fight for what’s right: a Major League Baseball-wide ban on all red alternate jerseys for anyone except the Cincinnati Reds, who make theirs work somehow. All of the rest of them look terrible.

Oh, Canada indeed.