Watching Jon Lester suck up a storm against Toronto yesterday wasn’t without a silver lining. For starters, it kept my mind off the problems at the top of the Mets rotation. Considering the brutal underachievement of Lester and teammate / beer & KFC buddy Josh Beckett,’s Kirk Minihane wonder if it’s too much to expect the duo to perform as capably as say, “Aaron Cook and Franklin Morales” (“forget aces — there is no one left on the planet who thinks either one of these guys can pass for that”).

I’ve been against trading Lester all season, if only because it doesn’t make a lot of sense to deal a player when his value is at its lowest. Forty, 50 cents on the Lester dollar just to get him out of town seemed overly reactionary a month ago, or even a week ago. But for the first time I understood — if not quite agreed with — the idea that this might be unsalvageable after watching Lester take a beating on Sunday. I hate reading into body language — was Lester supposed to be thrilled while giving up 11 runs? — but this looked an awful lot like a guy who had given up. I don’t know how else to explain what we saw on Sunday and what we’ve seen this year. Can it really just be mechanics, can it really just be that Lester is right and all the umpires have decided to get together and screw him? I’ve kept an open mind for as long as I can, and now it’s at least fair to wonder if Jon Lester simply doesn’t want to be in Boston anymore.

If that’s the case, he’s got to go. Same with Beckett — if the Red Sox believe that these two have crossed the point of no return as players and people, it’s a no-brainer. But what scares you about this organization — and whoever is running it — is that they don’t have the guts to make a move that would signal surrender, that would punt the 2012 season away, because they think it would look bad. The reality is 48-48, 78-83 and last place on July 23 looks a lot worse.