Link-O-Rama: Umpires, Pedro, Mariano, Brenly

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* MLB announced the umpiring crews for the ALCS and NLCS, and first-round goats C.B. Bucknor, Jerry Meals, and Phil Cuzzi are all absent.
Committing to improving umpire performance and utilizing instant replay further to avoid obvious blown calls would be nice, but short of that keeping the offending umpires off the field is something at least.
* Pedro Martinez hasn’t pitched since September 30 because of injuries and bad weather, but he’ll get the Game 2 assignment for the Phillies and Charlie Manuel said yesterday that he’s “capable of throwing anywhere from like 75 to 90 pitches, maybe 95, maybe even 100.”
* Mariano Rivera has been named Delivery Man of the Year, winning for the third time in the award’s five years of existence. Jonathan Papelbon was the winner in 2007 and Brad Lidge won last season. Joe Nathan finished second to Rivera this year.
* ESPN.com’s Rob Neyer wonders why Bob Brenly isn’t a candidate for various managerial openings given his World Series win in 2001 and .536 winning percentage in four years at the helm in Arizona. Cubs fans ought to be happy that Brenly isn’t a hotter managerial name, because along with play-by-play man Len Kasper he forms one of the best announcing duos in the game.

Giants sign Austin Jackson to two-year, $6 million contract

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The Giants announced on Monday night the signing of outfielder Austin Jackson. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, it’s a two-year, $6 million deal with performance incentives that allow Jackson to earn up to an additional $2.5 million for a total of $8.5 million.

Jackson, who soon turns 31 years old, spent last season with the Indians. In 318 plate appearances, he hit .318/.387/.482 with seven home runs, 35 RBI, and 46 runs scored.

The Giants have been on the hunt for a center fielder and Jackson addresses that need relatively cheaply. Jackson will join Hunter Pence and newcomer Andrew McCutchen in the outfield.