Willie Randolph has surfaced the past couple of days. He says he wants to manage again. And, from what I hear, Tony Bernazard is still in it for the GM job in Seattle.
Said Randolph: “I don’t get a sense much will open up. … Seattle is expected to open after they hire a GM and there is a chance the Brewers will have a vacancy. I will keep an eye on managing. To go back to the field as a bench coach or third-base coach is an option to explore. Let’s wait and see.”
Should Tony Bernazard get the Seattle job, that’s not going to work out for Willie.
I hope Randolph gets another job, but for that to happen, he’ll have to admit he made some mistakes and learned something with the Mets. That’s something he hasn’t done.
“There is something there, something missing, that the club needs to get over,” Minaya said.
Minaya singled out the bullpen as the area of main concern, but did not name and possible FA replacements.
“One of the top areas we need to address is the bullpen and the closer,” Minaya said. “There’s only a few guys in the game what we say can, ‘lock-out an inning,’ so we’ll have to look in the market place, or look internally, because for a championship team that is very important.”
To fill that void, and the projected starting pitching void without Pedro Martinez and Oliver Perez, Minaya said he would listen to trade offers for anyone, and that includes core players David Wright, Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran.
Minaya called the trio, “winning players,” but added, “we owe it to ourselves to look at all areas. I’m going to be open-mined all winter.”
Minaya, however, isn’t shopping these three, and I got the impression this was GM clichespeak, in that all GM’s say they will listen to any proposals that could improve the team.
Minaya also said:
-Discussions are on-going on a contract extension for manager Jerry Manuel. It’s believed the Mets have a two-year deal on the table but Manuel is thinking three.
-The team is interested in bringing back Carlos Delgado, and has told his agent this.
-He’s interested in having Oliver Perez return and said he made progress.
-Said the team is waiting to complete its investigation and let the legal process take its course before making a decision on troubled reliever Ambiorix Burgos.
“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.
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.”