Mariano Rivera is pretty special

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riveraws.jpgMariano Rivera is a pretty special pitcher. I know, it’s a pretty revelatory statement.



First, I direct your attention to this pretty neat interactive graphic from the New York Times.
My description won’t do it justice, but the graphic details every
single batter of Rivera’s postseason career. Yes, even Mike Piazza’s
flyout to end Game 5 of the 2000 World Series. A sad reminder for this
Mets fan, but pretty darn cool otherwise.




Rivera has a ridiculous 0.74 ERA and
0.77 WHIP in 88 postseason games, including an 0.56 ERA over 16 innings
during the 2009 playoffs. It’s even more incredible upon learning that he pitched through a painful rib cage injury during the World Series.

“It doesn’t matter now,” Rivera said. “It’s over. Thank God it’s over.
It was manageable. ‘Geno’ did a tremendous job. Thank God we were able
to do what we did, to put me on the field every day so I would have a
chance.”


Those who watched the World Series
will remember Rivera with some sort of heating pad under his jacket in
the bullpen, but any concern of an injury was dismissed by the team, as
he proved quite durable, tossing 5 1/3 innings over four appearances
against Philadelphia.




Rivera turns 40 later this month and has one year and $15 million remaining on his contract. He has already expressed a desire to pitch for five more seasons. With results like these, who are we to say he can’t pull it off?

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.