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Carlos Beltran #15 of the New York Mets at bat. Still here.

2011 mlb trade deadline

Mets Keep Playing, Winning, Thank You Very Much

Like the rest of the baseball universe, we're obsessed with the trade deadline, checking MLB Trade Rumors every ten minutes and totally sympathetic to crazy tweets like this one. This is the fun week: We'll be scrolling Twitter and our RSS feed like crazy all day Sunday. (We secretly hope it rains so we don't feel guilty.) But we've noticed that Mets' fans, who would seemingly have the most to benefit (long-term, anyway) from the trade deadline, don't seem into it at all. They're still having too much fun.

The Mets beat the fading Reds 8-6 last night, in a sloppy game that at least didn't go nineteen innings and end with a wretched call at home plate. (Poor, poor Pirates.) The win put the Mets back over .500, at 51-50, which happens to be the exact same record they had at this time last year. They finished with 79 wins last year, which is more than you probably remember them having. Considering the Mets' season, it's sort of crazy that they're a game over .500. Baseball Prospectus actually has them with better odds at making the playoffs than Tampa Bay. (1.9 percent, but still.)

Jason Fry at Faith and Fear in Flushing summed it up well this morning, using our favorite sort of metaphor, one of the cartoon variety:

I’m not quite sure how they aren’t lying broken at the bottom of the cliff, but the evidence is irrefutable: There they are, holding on to tree roots and thinking about their next move. And now they’re windmilling their feet like Wile E. Coyote and hurling the villains sent to dispatch them over the edge and WHOA! They’re back up on the mountain! But wait — here comes the rest of the posse, and the Mets … OH NO! The Mets are out of bullets! They’re looking at each other in consternation as the horses race toward them! Looks bad for our heroes — but then it did in the last chapter too, and I’ve got a funny feeling that they just might think of something. Tune in tomorrow night for the next thrilling chapter!

Of course, that next thrilling chapter — the only real thrilling chapter left, in a macro sense — is the Carlos Beltran trade, which will happen by Sunday sand maybe before, maybe any minute now. ESPN says the Giants and the Rangers are the two favorites, but they don't list any of the prospects who would be coming back, making it sort of a pointless exercise. Jayson Stark, one of the ESPN guys who has somehow remained likable throughout the years, doesn't think the market will offer a Grade A prospect. But we have a few days left until Sunday, and teams aren't going to get less desperate. The Mets should still get something. And, fortunately, the Mets get to keep playing until Sunday. Maybe they'll go ahead and keep winning, just for the optics.

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Photo: Nick Laham/Getty Images