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Optimistic Applesauce - What the Mets must do to beat Phils in 2011, R.A.'s contract, Lee's presser

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It is certainly the dog days of the offseason. When the biggest news story from the Mets yesterday is whether Ruben Tejada will play shortstop at Buffalo, you know it's a slow one. But, this means that there is time for some optimism. Mark Simon at ESPN explains what would have to happen for the Mets to give the Phillies a run for their money this season and it doesn't involve any genie or leprechaun.

Interesting take from Brian Mangan on Lastings Milledge's bench clearing fight from earlier this week. 

Joe Janish thinks the Mets may  have been better off trading Carlos Beltran a few years ago.

Sandy Alderson's decision on what to do with R.A. this offseason will certainly be an interesting one.

Cliff Lee did his smiley press conference but also probably got some shots in at the fans of his former teams. Meanwhile, Skip Bayless thinks Lee's signing was actually an act of cowardice.

Heath Bell had typhoid. That is a sentence I never thought I would write.

The Nationals were pretty active yesterday, shipping Josh Willingham to Oakland and re-signing Chien-Ming Wang.

Joe Posnanski again with the awesomeness, this time about Zack Greinke.

Jose Canseco keeps pleading for someone in MLB to hire him for anything. He has now apologized for Juiced, the one thing hat made him important.

Guillermo Mota's suitors are now down to three. I can't believe that there are that many.

And, finally, former Brave and Falcon Brian Jordan has released a children's book hoping to encourage kids to not be afraid of the baseball.