Oct 02

Wilpon: “Omar is our guy.”

``We believe in Omar.''

``We believe in Omar.''

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon defended the decision to extend GM Omar Minaya’s contract at this time. Minaya was signed through 2009. He was given a three-year extension through 2012, with club options for 2013 and 2014.

“We failed this year, and we want to get the redemption we need and move forward, and we feel Omar and his staff are the best group to put us in that position,” Wilpon said. “We were not a good team before Omar took over. … Omar is our guy. We believe in Omar.”

Wilpon also said the current economic crisis in the country has not impacted the construction project at Citi Field: “We have not requested funds above what we have budgeted for.”

Wilpon would not say whether this year’s payroll of $143 million would be exceeded next year, but did not say Minaya had a ceiling.

I’ll have Minaya for you in a few minutes.

-Minaya said negotiations are on-going with manager Jerry Manuel on an extension.

-Minaya said the team is leaning toward bringing back Carlos Delgado. He has already spoken with his agent.

Sep 29

Omar searching for answers ….

It wasn't a ``thumbs up'' day for Minaya today at Shea.

It wasn't a ``thumbs up'' day for Minaya today at Shea.

Mets GM Omar Minaya held court this afternoon. He stated the franchise’s mission statement, but said he had no immediate answers on the team’s most pertinent issues.

In summary: “Our goal is to get to the World Series, win the World Series, and continue to win it, but the bottom line is we can’t even get to the playoffs so we need to find a better way to work hard at this. … It’s been two years a row now, but we didn’t get over that hurdle. You never feel good when you get this far and don’t make it.”

This didn’t come out good, but I knew what he meant. He didn’t want to go into immediate rip mode.

On getting over the hurdle: “Why is it we can’t get over that hurdle? I don’t have an answer right now.”

On Jerry Manuel’s status: “We’ll review what we want to do. We’ll discuss his whole status. That’s going to take a couple of days. I don’t see it being done with a day or two. It’s going to happen sooner than later.”

No doubt the bullpen needs to be improved, but he didn’t lay all the blame on the pen:
“I don’t think it’s one area. To put it on one area wouldn’t be fair. You have to ask yourself how can you score five runs this weekend? It’s a team effort.”

Sep 29

Manuel all but official ….

Manuel: At his first press conference. He should have another soon.

Manuel: At his first press conference. He should have another soon.

The Mets were 55-38 under Jerry Manuel, a record good enough to bring him back. GM Omar Minaya is meeting with ownership today about Manuel’s contract. An announcement could be made this week, perhaps as soon as tomorrow.

Minaya on Manuel: “Jerry did a very good job in a tough situation, overcoming injuries to [John] Maine and Billy [Wagner]. … I was very pleased with the job he did.”

I’ve been saying Manuel should return. Agree? Disagree?

Sep 05

Sept. 5.08: Mets pregame notebook.

Jerry Manuel nuggets:

-So far, Pedro Martinez is a go for tomorrow. I wouldn’t go overboard on the over/under for his innings. Say 4 1/3.

-It looks as if the Mets could get left closer Billy Wagner back next week. Luis Ayala will get the ninth tonight. “We feel very good about his chances of coming back. I don’t think it will happen this weekend, but shortly after that he should be ready to go,” Manuel said today.

-Nothing new on John Maine. Forget the closer idea.

-Manuel on Dan Murphy playing second in the future: “I think Murphy’s a good baseball player. it would be not fair if we didn’t think he could do that, If you are a baseball player, and that’s what you do, you should be able to play any where on that field, except for maybe behind the plate.” You might recall several weeks ago when I spoke with GM Omar Minaya he left it open for Murphy to play first base in the Arizona Instructional League this fall.