The umpiring crews for the League Championship Series have been announced, and as prescribed, Joe West and Angel Hernandez will get a welcome respite.
ALCS: Tim Welke (crew chief), Larry Vanover, Jim Wolf, Fieldin Culbreth, Jeff Nelson and Tom Hallion
NLCS: Gary Darling (crew chief), Tim Timmons, Sam Holbrook, Mike Everitt, Bill Miller and Mike Winters
Umpires cannot work consecutive postseason series, so it was already a given that West and Hernandez, both of whom have worked LDS games, would have next week off. We’ll have a better idea how MLB rates its umps when the World Series crew is announced.
For what it’s worth, last year’s World Series crew was similar to this year’s NLCS crew: Gary Darling, Sam Holbrook, Bill Miller and Mike Winters also worked that one and were joined by John Hirschbeck and Jeff Kellogg.
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 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.