``Don’t believe what you see in April or September''  is a long trusted axiom in baseball. It usually applies to a player who has a great April or a September call up who scorches the ball in a late season cup of coffee.

In this instance, we’ll apply it to the Mets and we have to include the middle months. If they believe they are contenders—and the standings say they are—the biggest mistake would be to stand pat with the team they are fielding today. The Angel Pagan-Carlos Beltran situation will play out and there are far worse problems than having two capable players for the same position.

They can’t get by with Ruben Tejada at second base. That’s where Ty Wigginton comes in. And the bench could use some bolstering. Alex Cora can’t hit a lick and Chris Carter’s value diminished with the end of the designated hitter in interleague play. If he valuable as a pinch hitter, or is there a utility player out there who can actually play a position.

But the biggest issues could come on the mound. Despite the ringing endorsement of Jerry Manuel, Hisanori Takahashi can not be counted on to fool the league for the rest of the season. R.A. Dickey’s knuckleball looks good so far, but is it all an aberration for the 35-year-old with no successful track record in the majors? And aren’t you a bit concerned, rain delay notwithstanding, that Jonathon Niese couldn’t hold a 10-0 lead Tuesday night or that another injury might do him in? The Mets need at least one starter. Cliff Lee is the prize, but Kevin Millwood is worth the prospects.

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Good teams try to get better. The alternative happens when they do nothing.

steven.marcus@newsday.com