Manny Machado Getty

Manny Machado cleared for some baseball activities

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Good news for the Orioles. According to ESPN’s Stephania Bell, Manny Machado was cleared for some baseball activities yesterday after he had his surgically-repaired left knee evaluated by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Machado was put through extensive testing, as well as treadmill running, squats, jumps and agility maneuvers. ElAttrache cleared him to hit, field ground balls, and run, but he’ll be eased into more intense game-like situations.

When Machado underwent surgery in October to repair a torn medial patellofemoral ligament, it was believed that he would need 4-6 months of rehab time, but it was reported earlier this month that he was 6-8 weeks ahead of schedule. There’s still no clear timetable for his return and being ready for Opening Day isn’t the end-all and be-all, but things are sounding promising at the moment.

Machado, 21, hit .283/.314/.432 with 14 home runs and 71 RBI over 156 games in his first full season in the majors last year. He won a Gold Glove Award for his defense at third base.

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

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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.