By Donny Goldin

As i prepared to take out my contact lenses before bed on Monday night, an ESPN news alert flashed across the bottom of my computer screen. It immediately caught my eye. Could I possibly be reading this right? Did anyone see this coming?

The top Free Agent on the open market was not resigning with the Texas Rangers, and he wasn’t taking the over sized check that the Yankees were offering. Clifton Phifer Lee had taken less money and less years to rejoin a team whose fans often force themselves to vomit on little children. Lee’s signing sent shock waves around the league, but its impact was mainly felt throughout the NL East.

As a passionate Met fan I wondered, could this possibly be the worst thing that has happened to our fan base since Rick Peterson claimed that he could fix Victor Zambrano in ten minutes? Since Bernard Gilkey and Butch Huskey chants rang throughout the walls of Shea Stadium? Maybe it was watching Yadier Molina saunter around the bases during Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS, though I think Carlos Beltran staring at strike 3 to end it may have given me an ulcer.

Lee going to the Phillies gives them a stranglehold on this division for the next few years, giving Mets fans like myself much more reason to start following Hockey (Goooooo Rangers!!!). This begs the questions, can anyone in the NL East actually beat this Phillies team? Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Carlos Ruiz. This sounds more like a team I would have drafted in my ultra-competitive 4-team fantasy baseball league back in the 5th grade. Thank G-d for Jayson Werth’s departure, or the Phils might have had the National League locked up this year.

As Met fans, where do we go from here? How do we react? Do we go towards a complete rebuilding mode and trade away our cornerstone players to build for future teams? Do we give up the next 3 years, root for the rest of the National League, and start sending letters to Fred Wilpon to use some of that extra “Madoff” cash he didn’t really lose? Or do we look to surround our clubhouse with quality ballplayers who play the game right, and don’t worry about money or manly women? I would opt for the latter.

The Mets still have a solid group on the offensive side of the ball. Franchise players David Wright and Jose Reyes give the Mets an extremely impressive left side of the infield. Angel Pagan is proving to be one of those late bloomers, as a player who relies on fundamentals and instinct. Young hitters such as Ike Davis and Justin Thole will provide the Mets with some depth in their lineup, something they have lacked due to injuries over the past few seasons. Carlos Beltran and Jason Bay will have to do a better job of driving in runs, but they do have the track record to succeed over the course of a full season.

Unfortunately for the Mets, their starting pitching lacks any depth. I am pretty sure John Mayer’s dating resume is a lot deeper than the pitcher selection Manager Terry Collins will get to chose from. If there is one area the Mets should spend their money, it is here. Do not trade Jose Reyes for pitching depth, and do not mortgage whatever is left of the farm system to fill out the rotation. Sign veterans and players such as Brandon Webb, who is in that high risk, high reward category. There is no need to dismantle a team that isn’t too far removed from its last playoff appearance.

Every year, the Minnesota Twins grab, or either contend for, a playoff spot in the American League. Most of their big contracts are homegrown players they resigned to keep their team intact. The Mets should pay attention to what’s going on in the Twin Cities. If there is one thing that the Minnesota Twins have taught me over the years, it’s that winning baseball is not always about putting together a team of overpaid All-Stars. It is about doing all the little things right and playing fundamentally sound baseball.

Unless you’re the Baltimore Orioles. Then you just stink.

  1. josh says:

    great article. only reason u love the twins is because you jizz to Joe Mauer(i probably spelt that wrong)

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