Pat Burrell

Pat Burrell expected to retire at age 35

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No official word yet, but Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors reports that Pat Burrell will announce his retirement following a 12-year career.

Burrell got back on track after a miserable one-and-a-half season stint with the Rays, returning to the NL with the Giants while hitting .259 with 25 homers and an .827 OPS in 560 plate appearances.

Those numbers basically match his career marks, but Burrell’s foot problems made staying in the lineup difficult and his lack of defensive value likely would have made it tough to land a full-time job anyway.

Burrell never quite developed into the superstar many projected from the No. 1 overall pick in the 1998 draft, as his offense was very good rather than great and his defense dragged down his overall value, but he smacked 20-plus homers nine times and among all active right-handed hitters with at least 5,000 plate appearances his .834 OPS ranks 11th.

And now Burrell–or at least his alter ego “The Machine”–will have plenty of time to play dress-up with Brian Wilson.

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.