Marathon men

Something strange happened in New York a couple weeks ago. The baseball trade deadline approached, and both New York teams found themselves in pennant races, and it was the Mets, not the Yankees, who decided to make the bold move.

The Mets picked up outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to improve one of the league’s worst offenses. The Yankees essentially did nothing.

So far, the Mets’ boldness has paid off. The Mets have vaulted into first place over a Washington Nationals team that many people, me included, thought was baseball’s best when the season began. The Mets’ terrific young rotation is dealing, the lineup is scoring some runs. It’s an exciting time. And so far, the Yankees’ apprehensiveness has looked ominous.

The Toronto Blue Jays swept a helpless-looking Yankees team at Yankee Stadium last weekend. The Yankees scored one run in three games, and their lead over the Blue Jays has dwindled to almost nothing. And they look old.

But here’s the thing: There are still seven weeks left in the season. If a baseball season really is a marathon, well, there are more than eight miles left. That’s a lot of time for fading, and I suspect the Mets will fade. Even with the addition of Cespedes, I just don’t think they’ll score enough runs. The Nationals have been a significant underachiever, but I think you’d still have to bet they’ll have enough to hold off New York.

The Blue Jays, though, are another matter. They were scoring more runs than any team in baseball before they got Troy Tulowitzki. And now, with David Price, they have a starting rotation that should keep them in games every night.

The Yankees made the hard, and sensible, choice of not trading off their top prospects for immediate glory. It was an unusual move for a team that, for 20 years, has always gone for it. In the long run, that was the right call. In the short run, though, I think they’re in trouble.

— Joe Posnanski

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