An injury to a starting pitcher, depth, a team’s unexpected first-half success begs the question, "Are we buyers or sellers?" as the trade deadline looms. They’re questions and challenges every playoff contending team will face to some degree. They are part of the natural progression of a baseball season for all 30 Major league baseball teams and one that will soon result with Sandy Alderson revealing his true appraisal of the 2012 New York Mets.
One of the wonderful things about a baseball season is its unpredictability, and in 2012, the first half of the season has been about as predictable as one of R.A. Dickey's dancing knuckleballs. No one expected -- or could have predicted -- what's happening in the National League East.
Take every reasonable assumption from the last six months, pack them up in a box and throw them off the Space Needle. Sound extreme? Live a day, a week, this season in Cliff Lee’s spikes before you answer that question.
Ever since his name surfaced in a trade rumors last December, Lee’s life is worthy of a narrative by Rod Serling. He took his first step into the Twilight Zone when the Philadelphia Phillies shipped Lee to the Seattle Mariners in a four-team, nine-player trade including two Cy Young Award winners (Lee and Roy Halladay).