The competition for the services of free agent OF Carlos Lee appears to be down to Houston, Baltimore and Philadelphia, and’s Buster Olney finds Pat Gillick’s alleged interest to be very curious.

If the Phillies wind up winning this bidding, it’s doubtful that there will be a more glaring example of a front-office strategic flip-flop that costs the team tens of millions of dollars: On July 30, the Phillies essentially gave away on-base percentage machine Bobby Abreu to the Yankees because they wanted to get out from underneath the $23 million still owed to him, in ’06 and ’07 salary. And now, four months later, they are on the verge of signing another player who is A) roughly the same age (Abreu is 32, Lee is 30); B) much worse defensively, considering his range and throwing arm; C) an inferior athlete — Lee’s thickening body greatly concerns some general managers; and D) much, much, much more expensive, with the team’s financial obligation for an impact corner outfielder increasing by perhaps as much as $85 million, if the Phillies’ bid takes them over $100 million.

Hot Foot’s Sidd Finch reports that Urban Outfitter is peddling some pricey “retro-style” Mets tees. Whether or not this initiative was in any way inspired by David Wright and Jose Reyes’ recent foray into the world of male modeling, I cannot say for certain. But I can, however, vouch for the orange & blue Mex shirt offered by “I Am Keith Hernandez” filmmaker Rob Perri being an excellent conversation starter.