Hey, all you Mets fans...gather 'round and let me spring some news on you: K-Rod is delusional. The Philadelphia Phillies are still the team to beat next season.
When it comes down to it, whose bullpen is better? You guys may have Putz, Green, and K-Rod, but that's it! So, when K-Rod proudly and foolhardily exclaimed at his welcoming party, "We're the team to beat," he must have been high at the time.
So let me break it down for you, old school Philly style:
1) You traded for two set-up men and overpaid for a lackluster closer whose only claim to fame is setting the single-season saves record.
2) You traded away the rest of your bullpen. Wagner will miss the '09 season due to reconstructive elbow surgery, which may just end his career (not just as a Met). Traded away Joe "The Sidewinder" Smith, and traded away Scott Schoeneweis. K-Rod must have overlooked something:
Wagner, Smith, and Schoeneweis combined for 167.0 innings and an ERA of 3.18. Just remember that you may have gotten rid of Heilman, but the losses of the other three outweighs the increase.
3) The Phillies have Durbin, Eyre, Madson, Romero, Lidge. I need not remind you that Lidge was PERFECT in save situations last season. He closed the door on what would become the second World Series title for the Phillies.
4) Haven't you people learned your lessons from Beltran? The year after Rollins made his "We're the team to beat this year" speech, Beltran made the same speech. Hmm... but we all remember what happened, right? The Mets fell flat on their smug faces, and the Phillies won the division.
5) Oh...and don't forget the loss of Endy Chavez, either. You just traded away your best outfield glove for a lackluster closer/set-up man (Putz). Good luck with that butcher Murphy out in left or right field next season.
The Mets' ballyhooed improvements are mostly illusory, and they still have work to do. That's why, as things stand now, K-Rod was dead wrong. The Phillies are the team to beat in the N.L. East.
Good luck with your rotation and bullpen next year!