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Apparently the proper pronunciation of "Jeurys" is "base on balls." Plus, the Cyclones get accolades, Ted Berg eats a pork sandwich, and the AL playoff race gets less complicated. All your baseball (and pork!) links are belong to Mets Morning News.
Meet the Mets
Jeurys Familia walked a whole lot of batters as a starter in AAA this season, so it's probably not too surprising that he walked a whole lot of batters as a starter in the majors. Familia walked six batters in four shutout innings (also known as an Ollie), then turned things over to the Mets bullpen. That went as expected. The box score says the game took only 3:16. Felt more like 6:13 to me.
But all that is unimportant, because TODAY IS DICKEY DAY! And not just any Dickey Day, but the final Dickey Day of 2012. This is a time for reflection certainly, but also rejoicing. Dickey be praised, R.A.men.
Speaking of the Dickster, the NL Cy Young race is pretty close*, so Rob Neyer takes a look at whether R.A. Dickey deserves extra credit for well, being a Met. Answer: Not so much. I agree, but he does deserve extra credit for being R.A. Dickey. The other candidates unfortunately are not R.A. Dickey, and we should absolutely hold that against them.
*Not actually close, cuz Dickey.
Dan Warthen is using his newfound job security to lobby for a 2013 return for Mike Pelfrey. Coming off Tommy John Surgery, Pelfrey probably wouldn't be ready until the middle of May at the earliest, and as a Boras client it's tough to say what he will do when he's inevitably non-tendered by the Mets. I would hardly be shocked if he is back though.
Baseball America posted their Top 20 New York Penn League Prospects yesterday, and unsurprisingly the Cyclones were well-represented. Toby Hyde has the BA scouting reports for the four Mets prospects that made it. I've said my piece on twitter and in the comment thread on Toby's site, but the Mateo ranking is all kinds of wonky. I also don't see the argument for Robles over Cessa or Ynoa, though Aaron Fitt's industry sources preferred Robles unanimously.
Scouts and managers I spoke with all preferred Robles to Ynoa, but Ynoa garnered some consideration for this list as well. He showed a solid-average fastball in the 89-92 range, feel for an average changeup and very good control — this guy is a strike-thrower, like most of those Brooklyn pitchers. The problem is his slider is below-average, and he lacks the big velocity that Robles showed. He profiles as a middle reliever at this stage.
Keeping it on the prospect side of things, Mark Anderson, who recently joined the prospect team at Baseball Prospectus, has a full scouting report on Michael Fulmer. His report matches up well with what I've seen from Fulmer this year, and I think you can make an argument to put him as high as #2 in the Mets system right now.
Here's a handy dandy chart depicting the Mets attendance over the last decade plus. I've seen Six Flags rides that were less harrowing.
Howard Megdal considers Scott Hairston as a potential 2013 centerfielder for the Mets. Personally, I think they go with a healthy Kirk Nieuwenhuis before Hairston, though Kirk still hasn't gotten any extended AAA time due to his various injuries. Howard also has a rather depressing piece on David Wright's future with the Mets.
Yesterday at AA
Yesterday was the 29th anniversary of the 1973 Mets clinching the NL East. Brock Mahan had the details.
And Chris McShane recapped what felt like the longest 3-2 loss ever
Around the NL East
Despite getting shutout by Kyle Kendrick and company, the Nationals clinched their first division title in franchise history when the Braves lost to Pittsburgh. Atlanta will have to settle for the wild card.
FanGraphs takes a look at Craig Kimbrel's absolutely ridiculous season out of the Braves' pen. Crazy great stuff, crazy great season, still not the Cy Young.
Also at FanGraphs, AA's own Eno Sarris writes about the Ryan Howard toe injury. I already took Eno to task on twitter for not making an inanimate carbon rod joke. In Rod We Trust!
Crashburn Alley is blogging out the string with some funny GIFs!
The Yankees won a split squad game over the Red Sox in Tampa...oh wait, it's not March? Huh, it is in fact October and there is some sort of playoff race going on? Okay then. The win moved the Yankees a game ahead of the Orioles who lost to the spunky Rays. For those still asking themselves, well, how did
I the Orioles get here? The answer seems to be their historically effective bullpen.
Finding themselves living in a shotgun shack is the Chicago White Sox who were eliminated from the AL Central race despite blowing out the Indians. The Tigers clinched the Central thanks in part to a distinct lack of hap from the hapless Royals.
The NL West champion Giants are just playing out the string and setting up their playoff rotation, which will include Tim Lincecum apparently. This despite Timmy winning one-third of the NL's Triple Jester's Crown. I was holding out hope they would go with Yusmeiro Petit. VIVA PETIT!
I guess we have to talk a little bit about the AL MVP race. Joe Posnanski handles the debate in his measured and nuanced way, while Jeff Passan implies Cabrera supporters are akin to 9/11 truthers. Come on now Passan, no politix.
Hey, remember like every offseason a few years back when we thought the Mets were going to sign Orlando Hudson. Well, looks like the Mets will have another shot! Meanwhile, Darren Oliver, who has continued to be as effective as he was with the 2006 Mets, is contemplating retirement. Should of kept.
Moving to the 'neat things' beat, Baseball Prospectus now has comprehensive umpiring stats available, so you can properly quantify you hate of Laz Diaz.
Bill Petti takes a look at how last year's free agent signings worked out. The Mets come out slightly ahead of the game, and you can probably thank Ronny Cedeno for that. Not words I thought I would ever be writing last offseason.
The awesome Craig Robinson of Flip Flop Fly Ball posted a topical infographic describing postseason vs. regular season length.