New York Mets: Jerry Manuel

Morning Briefing: Beware any 3 AM calls

April, 11, 2014
Apr 11
5:47
AM ET
ATLANTA

FIRST PITCH: The Mets may be a little groggy for Friday night’s game in Anaheim.

After winning a rubber game against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field, the Mets flew across the country and were not due to land at LAX until about 5 a.m. ET. They then faced another hour drive to their hotel in Orange County.

Dillon Gee (0-0, 4.50 ERA) starts the series opener against the Los Angeles Angels at 10:05 p.m. ET. Gee opposes left-hander Tyler Skaggs (1-0, 0.00).

The Mets will get the use of the DH this weekend. Josh Satin is due to start one game at first base -- probably the series opener against the southpaw Skaggs, although the Mets also see left-hander C.J. Wilson on Sunday.

The Mets last visited Anaheim six years ago. It was after a June 16, 2008 victory in that series opener that the Mets fired Willie Randolph and pitching Rick Peterson at 3 a.m. ET.

Randolph had implored the Mets to fire him before getting on the plane for California if the intent was to imminently dismiss him anyway, but Mets PR people advised to wait until the team headed west rather than terminate Randolph in New York on Father’s Day.

Friday’s news reports:

Juan Lagares delivered a tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh and Carlos Torres, Kyle Farnsworth and Jose Valverde combined to retire the final 11 Braves batters as the Mets won, 6-4, Thursday. Eric Young Jr. proved a sparkplug, going 3-for-5 with three steals and four runs scored. Jenrry Mejia allowed four runs in five innings, including a pair of homers to Justin Upton.

Writes columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post:

They have bungled the first base situation, one of their big free agent signings -- Chris Young -- has yet to play a game and their $60 million man -- Curtis Granderson -- is struggling with a .125 average and owns 11 strikeouts in 32 at-bats. Yes, this is the tiniest of samples, but so far the sample reads: Jason Bay.

Read game recaps in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Post, Daily News, Times, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and at MLB.com.

• Terry Collins insisted Lucas Duda will continue to get the bulk of the playing time at first base. When the Mets face right-hander Jered Weaver on Saturday, both Duda and Ike Davis may play, with one serving as DH. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Record, Daily News, Newsday and at MLB.com.

Chris Young, on the disabled list with a right quadriceps strain, played five innings in an extended spring training game Thursday in Florida. He should begin a rehab assignment soon with Triple-A Las Vegas. Young is eligible to be activated from the DL next Friday.

• Mr. Met once was threatened by the Secret Service, when President Bill Clinton visited Shea Stadium, according to a book excerpt cited in the Daily News.

• Jacob deGrom allowed one run in five innings for Las Vegas. Darin Gorski struck out 10 batters in Binghamton’s 9-1 win against New Hampshire. Jairo Perez went 5-for-6 and Bronx native T.J. Rivera had five RBIs in St. Lucie’s 13-3 win against Jupiter. Stefan Sabol, Jeff McNeil and Jared King had three RBIs apiece as Savannah beat Rome, 12-5. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Former Mets manager Jerry Manuel will help lead an initiative to increase diversity in baseball.

From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear can't get enough Lagares.

BIRTHDAYS: Ex-Mets pitchers Bret Saberhagen and Wally Whitehurst turn 50. ... Bobby M. Jones is 42.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Can the Mets depend on Kyle Farnsworth and Jose Valverde at the back end of the bullpen?

Report: Rockies interview Jerry Manuel

October, 27, 2012
10/27/12
7:29
PM ET

Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Jerry Manuel reportedly interviewed with the Rockies.


Jerry Manuel has interviewed for the vacant Colorado Rockies manager's position, the Denver Post reports.

Manuel managed the Mets from midway through the 2008 season through 2010, compiling a 204-213 record. He was dismissed along with general manager Omar Minaya after that season.

The newspaper also lists Walt Weiss, Jason Giambi, Pete Mackanin, Matt Williams and Ron Wotus as well as "possibly" Sandy Alomar Jr. and Brad Ausmus as candidates.

Meanwhile, Rick Peterson reportedly is interviewing for the Red Sox's pitching coach gig.

Mets morning briefing 4.5.11

April, 5, 2011
4/05/11
8:51
AM ET
The Mets open a three-game series on Tuesday night in Philadelphia. Read the series preview here.

On to the day's news reports:

• Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Bob Brookover says the Mets and Phillies aren't the rivals they're portrayed to be. Writes Brookover:

In the 49 years since the Mets filled the New York void left by the California emigration of the Giants and Dodgers in 1962, they have had a heated competition with the Phillies for the National League East title exactly two times: 2007 and 2008. The Mets did rival the 1964 Phillies with their monumental collapse in 2007 when they allowed a seven-game lead to slip away with 17 to play, triggering the Phillies' current run of four straight division titles and nightly home sellouts. A year later, the teams staged another entertaining race to the wire with the Phillies erasing a 3 1/2-game deficit on Sept. 10 on their way to their second World Series title in franchise history. Since then, the Phillies have had more of a rivalry with the Yankees than the Mets.

• The Mets are having a tough time selling out Friday's home opener against the Washington Nationals, according to the Bergen Record. Write authors Jeff Roberts and Dave Sheingold:

The e-mail landed Monday morning in the inboxes of Mets' fans throughout North Jersey and beyond. The "Mets Ticket Guide" advertised seats that still are available for Friday afternoon's home opener at Citi Field against the Washington Nationals. And if the first home game -- normally a sellout -- isn't enough of a draw, the team is giving away a Mr. Met bobblehead to the first 25,000 fans who arrive. But that still doesn't appear to be enough. The franchise has resorted to using e-mail blasts as it struggles to sell seats, with several still available on its website and thousands more available on the secondary ticket market -- including websites such as stubhub.com and seatgeek.com.

The Times recently reported the Mets have sold only the equivalent of about 10,000 season tickets this year when partial plans are included as fractions.

Pedro Feliciano accepts that he was not abused by the Mets while setting franchise records for appearances three straight seasons (86, 88 and 92). Still, the left-hander may be a little too stung by pitching coach Dan Warthen's comments. "I feel a little hurt by that," Feliciano said, as quoted by Newsday. "They said they didn't sign me because [they knew] I'm going to blow up this year. That hurts. But I will come out from this injury and I will be telling him there is still a lot of Feliciano to go."

Warthen didn't precisely say the Mets knew Feliciano would break down. The pitching coach did say Feliciano's usage, which increases risk of injury, prompted the Mets not to go to beyond one year on Feliciano, while the Yankees offered two years, $8 million with an option.

The direct quote: "That was part of the reason we decided to not re-sign him -- because we knew we had used him 270-some times in the last three years." (Read Warthen's entire comments here.)

Remember, the Mets did offer Feliciano arbitration (which netted them a draft pick as compensation). If Feliciano had accepted arbitration, he would have been back with the Mets, with a salary of potentially $4 million or more.

Read more in the Daily News, Times and Newsday.

Jose Reyes tells the Record's Steve Popper the Phillies are, yes, the team to beat. Says Reyes: "They are the team to beat. But we still can compete with any team. We've got a very good team, too. Last year we played very good baseball against the Phillies. If you see our record I think we won the series [actually the two teams tied with nine wins each]. We still can play with them." ... The Star-Ledger also looks at the trip to Philly.

Daniel Murphy should get Thursday's start at second base against Roy Halladay, Newsday's David Lennon reports. Lennon can foresee a platoon developing. The Mets, like every team, face more right-handers than left-handers, and it's unlikely the lefty-hitting Murphy will get the majority of the starts early on. Rule 5 pick Brad Emaus started two of the first three games, and Terry Collins indicated Murphy may not even get a third of the early starts. But if Murphy competently handles second base, like he did Sunday, he will begin chipping away there and Collins could find him other opportunities to get in the lineup.

• Reports are starting to surface that the Mets' payroll is $118,847,309, based on a USA Today database that is being promoted, such as this one in Newsday. Even Sandy Alderson brought up over the weekend that's incorrect. The calculation only uses current players, so you won't find Oliver Perez's $12 million and Luis Castillo's $6 million counted. It also omits players in the minors such as Ryota Igarashi, who happens to be making $1.75 million this year. When you consider the bases salaries of Chris Young ($1.1 million) and Chris Capuano ($1.5 million) are a fraction of the $4.5 million they each can earn based on games started and innings, the Mets' payroll is more likely to settle in around $145 million -- unless Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran or another high-cost player is traded at the deadline.

If you wish to reward USA Today despite those factors, here's the link to the Mets' salaries.

• The Mets will face Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay in Philly, but miss Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt. Newsday notes the Mets got a preview of what may be in store on Opening Day by facing Marlins ace Josh Johnson, who held them hitless through six innings. The day after Johnson's gem, hitting coach Dave Hudgens showed Collins the video of the right-hander's dominance. "We saw the film the next day, and in the first six innings, [Johnson] made like zero mistakes," Collins said, as quoted by Newsday. "He finally got a ball over the plate to Willie [Harris]. We know how tough it is. But you've got to stay within your game plan and stick with it. Even the best of the best once in a while give up some hits."

Andy Martino of the Daily News says Collins is a better communicator than predecessor Jerry Manuel. Writes Martino:

Those wounded last year by Jerry Manuel's lapses in communication have appreciated Collins' clarity. Manuel had a habit of surprising players by first criticizing them to reporters. One incident came last April in Denver, after John Maine surrendered eight runs in a game against the Rockies. Before speaking with Maine, Manuel told reporters that the righty's rotation spot was in jeopardy. Maine has long since left in a huff, but others remain from last year's mess. "It got so weird in here by August," said one player. "It's so much better now."

David Waldstein in the Times exposes Stanley, the mobile tool chest the Mets roll out to the bullpen every game. There are practical items such as binoculars and whimsical, such as a Magic 8 Ball. Writes Waldstein:

The purpose of the [Magic 8 Ball] game depends on the user and his belief in the supernatural. It could serve as a mere diversion, or a portent, as [bullpen coach Jon] Debus demonstrated recently by grabbing it out of the chest and asking it a question. “Debo, am I going to pitch tonight?” he asked it, pretending to be one of the Mets’ seven relief pitchers. Debus shook the ball and read the response as it popped into the small window: “It is decidedly so.” He looked at it again and asked, “Am I going to get fired for this interview?” The ball’s response: “My sources say no.”

Brian Costa of The Wall Street Journal looks at how Chris Young makes his mid-80s mph fastball look so much faster. The short answer: One, Young does a great job of hiding the ball from the batter by shielding it with his left elbow, like Washington's Tyler Clippard does as well. And then there's Young's 6-foot-10 frame, which means he has a longer stride and is releasing the ball closer to the plate. Costa notes one study says an 84 .1 mph fastball from Young seems to the batter like 92.1 mph. Writes Costa:

There is only one active pitcher in baseball as tall as Young, a former Princeton basketball star. Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Jon Rauch is also listed at 6-foot-10. And while height and wingspan are not inherent advantages for a pitcher, they are for Young, perhaps more so than for anyone else. "When you're standing there on deck and you see the ball coming out of his hand, there's nothing special to it," said Florida Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison. "But when you get in the box, it gets on you quick. Even though he's throwing 85, you have to treat it like 90, 92." ... The length of most pitchers' stride -- the distance between the rubber and where they plant their front foot -- is about 80 percent of their height. That alone would give Young a longer stride than other pitchers. But he also lunges forward to a greater degree than most. Warthen estimated Young's stride to be about eight feet, about 115 percent of his height.

Dan Martin of the Post speaks to Young's college coach, Princeton's Scott Bradley, about the right-hander making his Mets debut. “It’s a big start for him, but he’s so even-keeled, it’s not going to affect him,” said Bradley, a former Yankees catcher, who worked with Young in the offseason. “He finished strong last year and was pleased with spring training, so there’s no reason not to be optimistic.”

• Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick's World Series ring has been stolen from his Seattle-area home, the Seattle Times reportde.

BIRTHDAYS: Lastings Milledge turns 26.

Mets morning briefing 2.18.11

February, 18, 2011
2/18/11
6:35
AM ET
Second day of pitchers and catchers official workouts on Friday. Position players report Saturday, so it may be a day before we hear from Carlos Beltran, Luis Castillo and Jason Bay.

On to the news reports ...

Dave Howard, the Mets' executive VP for business operations, told Newsday's Neil Best that Mets tickets are selling like gangbusters. "I would characterize it as encouraging overall," Howard told Best. Specifically regarding season-ticket renewals, the executive VP added those were "substantially higher than where we were last year." The team on average sliced ticket prices by 14 percent and added an extra 10 percent discount for season ticket holders.

• The national media made it to Port St. Lucie on Thursday for Fred Wilpon's press conference. Fox's Ken Rosenthal believes Donald Trump is unrealistic and praises the New York media's civil handling of the interaction with the Mets' principal owner. "[Wilpon] spoke clearly and forcefully, addressing the Mets’ beat writers by their first names, yet chiding the group at large for questioning his integrity and reaching premature conclusions," Rosenthal writes. "The reporters, in turn, acted quite respectfully toward Wilpon, even while peppering him with tough, direct questions."

• Newsday's Jim Baumbach caught up with former Jets head coach Walt Michaels, who also led Trump's New York/New Jersey Generals for two seasons in the USFL. The 81-year-old Michaels thought Trump was a great owner, but doesn't see him as the minority-partner type. "As much as I know of Donald from the little time I was with him, he would do everything in his power to try to win," Michaels told Baumbach. "Now being that he was the owner, he also wanted everything done his way. And you can't blame him for wanting to do that."

Here's advice from Newsday's Ken Davidoff to the Wilpons. Writes Davidoff: "I'm not sure how much [Fred] Wilpon's outreach and access helped his family's cause, which prompts this question: Are the Wilpons, so often private when they should have been public, now making themselves visible when they should be hiding?"

• Daily News media critic Bob Raissman echoes Mike Lupica's thoughts of the day before that the Wilpons are smart to vigorously defend themselves rather than go underground. Raissman also notes that you'll see a knee-jerk reaction from media to blame a potential slow start or player transaction on Madoff rather than just actual baseball factors.

• Meanwhile, Post columnist Mike Vaccaro writes that Wilpon's forcefulness Thursday defending his integrity may be misguided. Vaccaro notes that the vast majority of reasonable people likely accept the Wilpons didn't know it was a Ponzi scheme. Yet, as Vaccaro notes: "My gut and my instincts tell me Fred is telling the truth here: We weren’t deceitful. Just dumb. And I don’t think that qualifies as being 'in on it.' But that’s not really what’s at issue here. It’s if the Wilpons benefited -- knowingly or not -- from Madoff’s fraud. If they have an ethical and moral compulsion to pay a breathtaking fortune in fines. And the hard truth is this: On one hand, they truly may receive the vindication they crave -- and on the other, may still have to write a check they won’t be able to cash."

• Here are the reports on Fred Wilpon's media address in The Times, Daily News, Post, Star-Ledger, Record and The Journal.

• The Daily News' Andy Martino notes that former hitting coach Howard Johnson has left the organization. Ultimately, HoJo was offered the hitting coach job at St. Lucie or Brooklyn, but that came after a winter of being not a priority. I only hope a bridge wasn't burned, especially since it's the 25th anniversary of the '86 Mets this year. HoJo didn't feel like talking about it when I reached out to him Thursday. You may remember Mookie Wilson had a fallout a few years ago and left the organization after feeling slighted, but he's thankfully back now as first base coach.

• Apparently, former manager Jerry Manuel would be in a Twitter war with Ozzie Guillen, his successor as White Sox skipper, if only Manuel knew how to use Twitter, writes Newsday's Steve Marcus. Guillen mocked Manuel's Mets on Twitter for being among the leaders in outfield assists, writing: "When your team leads the league in assists from outfield or in double plays that's not good. Means there's a lot of people on base, come on man." To which Manuel, now on MLB Network, replied, according to Marcus: "We allowed the fewest baserunners and then threw out the most base runners. So there you go, Ozzie. But what you got to do Ozzie, you got to teach me how to tweet so I can get back to you. You don’t have to put me on blast."

• Set the over-under on Johan Santana's return at July 1 apparently. Here are the write-ups on Santana's rehab progress in the Post, Star-Ledger and Newsday.

• Former Mets manager Joe Frazier died at age 88 on Tuesday in Broken Arrow, Okla. Read his obituary in The Times as well as at ESPNNewYork.com. He managed the Mets in 1976 and was fired during the following season.

• The Post's Mike Puma notes that Terry Collins was mildly displeased during Thursday's first workout because there was unintended idle time between stations, such as catchers having to stand around and wait for pitchers to loosen before throwing bullpens. Collins wants every minute to count. "You don't see me standing around very much -- I can't stand it -- so when I see people standing around I want to know why," Collins said.

• The Times' David Waldstein notes Jason Isringhausen is wearing No. 45 this spring rather than his customary No. 44. The latter number belongs to Jason Bay. "Let's see if I make the team first," Isringhausen told Waldstein. "We'll talk about it then."

Sophia Hollander in The Wall Street Journal finds disgruntled Mets fans and the newspaper trots out a photo of two fans with paper bags over their heads.

• Daily News columnist John Harper breaks from the Wilpon pack to write about baseball, even if it's noting the Mets' rotation doesn't exactly match up with the Phils'. Referring to Chris Capuano and Chris Young, one Mets official told Harper: "If we can get 40-45 starts out of those two guys, our pitching will be fine."

BIRTHDAYS: Plenty of ex-Mets born on Feb. 18, including Shawn Estes (1973), who threw behind Roger Clemens; John Valentin (1967); Kevin Tapani (1964), who went to the Minnesota Twins in the Frank Viola trade; and Jeff McKnight (1963).

Mets morning briefing 2.16.10

February, 16, 2011
2/16/11
6:32
AM ET
Bernard Madoff offering character endorsements of the Wilpons and Saul Katz. Donald Trump willing to perhaps buy the Mets outright. K-Rod's Lamborghini reporting on a flatbed truck, ahead of the closer. And one-third of Generation K auditioning and then signing with the Mets. Nothing like a sleepy Tuesday in Port St. Lucie.

Now on to Wednesday ... when Francisco Rodriguez is expected to be at the complex to answer questions, presumably including whether he thinks the Mets will do funny business to have him avoid finishing 55 games. Perhaps there will be a Johan Santana sighting, too.

Today is physical day, so the workout is technically optional. First official pitchers and catchers workout is Thursday.

Here's a review of the coverage in the morning papers:

• Of course, biggest story of the day is The New York Times' prison interview with Madoff, where he says the Wilpons and Katz "knew nothing" about the fraud. Mike Lupica in the Daily News vouches for Madoff's character reference of the Mets' ownership family, and writes the Times is on a crusade with Picard to discredit the family.

• With Jason Isringhausen officially on board with a minor league contract and invite to big league camp, Newsday's Jim Baumbach tracked down fellow Mets Generation K member Bill Pulsipher, who lightheartedly said: "You never know. Maybe we'll get a chance to get the band back together. ... Anywhere I go, when somebody starts talking about my career, it obviously always goes back to me, Izzy and [Paul] Wilson. I would like to be able to say things turned out differently. We couldn't help the injuries and all that. But it's still something I'll take with me for the rest of my life." The Isringhausen signing really is no risk. He's on a minor league deal, so the cost is minimal if Isringhausen underwhelms.

Brian Costa in The Wall Street Journal notes Isringhausen is returning from his third Tommy John surgery. ... David Waldstein in the Times recalls the trade of Isringhausen to the A's in July 1999 with Greg McMichael for Billy Taylor. Writes Waldstein: J.P. "Ricciardi was the assistant to Oakland general manager Billy Beane at the time and recommended converting Isringhausen to a closer, where he finally lived up to his promise with the A’s, and later the St. Louis Cardinals." ... Here are the takes of the Star-Ledger, Daily News, Bergen Record and Post.

• The Times also delves into Trump's interest in the Mets. It notes MLB has rules against owners having an interest in a gambling establishment, so Trump would "have to sell his small stake in Trump Entertainment Resorts, which has an interest in casinos in Atlantic City." Authors Alison Leigh Cowan and Ken Belson report former Sen. Alfonse D'Amato recommened to Trump to pursue ownership, and that a call was placed to the Wilpons two weeks ago, but no meeting had yet taken place. The article goes on to suggest that Trump could even keep the Wilpon family involved in operating the team, such as Jeff Wilpon remaining with the organization in a leadership role, even if Trump bought out the family outright.

Trump then told Dan Mangan of the Post: "Fred Wilpon is a good friend of mine. Anything I can do to help Fred, I'd love to do. ... We'll see what happens. It's going to take a long time for [the Mets] to work out the situation." Contrary to the first report, Trump wasn't completely insistent on having a majority share, although he allowed: "My history is I control things."

• It had been said before, but Sandy Alderson reiterated Tuesday that there would be no contract extension for Jose Reyes considered in spring training. At least, Alderson said, it was "unlikely." Here are the takes from the Post, Newsday, the Daily News and The Wall Street Journal. Andy McCullough in the Star-Ledger reminds everyone Reyes said last month that “I don’t want to talk about any contract during the season.” Which I guess means this will wait until October. Or it won't.

Jerry Manuel surfaced on MLB Network and said: "I think the best baseball is ahead of Jose Reyes. I think Jose Reyes is a stallion. He's out of control at times, that's due to anxiety, not [lack of] intelligence. ... All he needs is responsibility for the maturation process. He wants to be the best.''

• Apparently, early this winter, Daily News beat writer Andy Martino said he would wear a Speedo if the Phillies signed Cliff Lee. He copped out, but that was probably a good thing.

BIRTHDAY: Bill Pecota, who played in 117 games for the Mets in 1992 and hit .227, was born on this day in 1960.

AP Photo/Kathy Willens
Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya are due to meet with chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon on Monday to learn their fates.

Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel have appointments to meet with chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon on Monday to officially be told their fates.

Manuel's tenure as manager lasted five extra innings Sunday, before the Mets lost to the Nationals, 2-1, in the 14th when Oliver Perez struck out Ian Desmond, then plunked Adam Kennedy with a pitch and walked three straight batters to force in the decisive run. At 0-5, Perez had the second-most losses in franchise history without producing a win. John Franco was 0-8 in 1998.

Perez appeared in only three of the Mets' final 57 games, and Manuel said he regretted inserting the southpaw given that the lack of use would make it difficult for Perez to succeed. Perez, who is due $12 million next season, was serenaded at one point with derisive chants of "M-V-P, M-V-P" from the Citi Field crowd and was lustily booed afterward.

Pedro Feliciano and Elmer Dessens weren't available because of excessive recent use.

The Mets finished the season 79-83, in fourth place in the National League East.

"I felt bad that we had to put Ollie in a situation like that," Manuel said. "We had no choice. We had nothing left. That bothers me. He hadn't pitched in a while. That was a tough situation for him. I think out of anything that bothered me the most."

Manuel agreed that the game was a microcosm of the season, with the offense barely mustering anything. Still, he felt good about allowing David Wright and Jose Reyes to take the field for the ninth and then pulling them so that they could get ovations.

"We struggled pretty much all year offensively," Manuel said. "We had some opportunities. But I think the one good thing that we did do this year was I think we have established some young players. I think some young players are now ready to become part of key foundational pieces for the organization, for the franchise. Ike Davis is a piece. I think Dillon Gee is a piece. I think Josh Thole is a piece. I think Ruben Tejada can help. I don't know if he's that piece yet; it depends on the rest of the guys.

"Angel Pagan had a good year. I would have liked to have brought him off [during an inning for an ovation] with the rest of the guys [Wright and Reyes], but I didn't have enough players left. But he had a tremendous year as well."

Manuel went 204-213 in two and a half seasons with the Mets after taking over for Willie Randolph. Manuel's wife Renette was in the back of the press conference room dabbing her eyes as the manager did his last postgame as Mets skipper. Asked about his legacy postgame, Manuel took the question in stride.

"Hmmm, I didn't have much -- I don't leave much, really," he said. "I would hope that going forward that the Reyeses and the Wrights have become a different level player. I would hope the young players that we established become core pieces, foundational pieces. If that's the case, then we're very close -- or whomever is very close -- to getting the organization back into the mindset of an upper-division club. We cannot at this point consider that to be the case."

As for the upcoming meeting with Wilpon and his immediate plans, Manuel said: "Well, I've got to pack up, clean up. I've got to do all that kind of stuff. And then I'll come in and find out exactly what direction the organization wants to go. And then I'll head to Sacramento and pick up rocks or something and try to figure some things out."

Asked if the Mets had the pieces to compete in 2011, no matter who is in charge, Manuel emphasized the need for a big bat and for bullpen help.

"There are some things that have to be added. No doubt about that," he said. "Anytime you try to establish youth, there's going to be a period of struggle. There's going to have to be some other pieces to complement. You're going to have to find some strength, especially in the bullpen. That's going to have to be the mindset going forward. ... I'm always a believer in pitching and defense. I thought for the most part we pretty much established that. But I do think in going forward that a run producer -- a big run producer -- has to be a part of the mix as well. You're just going to have to find that run producer, whether he be an infielder or an outfielder or whatever. You're going to have to find that run producer, especially if a Josh Thole is your catcher and you're not expecting [power] production there. In the positions you have remaining, you're going to have to find a run producer."

Manuel said he was proud to maintain a positive working relationship with the players, even if there were occasional squabbles, such as the John Maine incident in D.C.

"For the most part, as individuals, we had our challenges," Manuel said. "But I thought the one thing was we never lost the team."

Jerry keeps humor to end

October, 3, 2010
10/03/10
12:55
PM ET
Jerry Manuel plans to remain in New York until Tuesday, when he will return home to Sacramento. In the hours before Game No. 162 on Sunday, Manuel continued to display his personality.

Asked his pregame emotions, Manuel replied: "It depends on what happens after the game. You always try to assume the best."

Despite that pronouncement, Manuel mostly spoke like a person resigned to be out after the game -- although he suggested he didn't know when exactly word would come.

"I was told we were going to talk after the season," Manuel said. "What date I have no idea at this point."

Manuel said his biggest regret was the widespread injuries. On that front, he said he learned not to rush marquee players back from maladies -- essentially, that assuming 50 percent of Carlos Beltran or Jose Reyes, for example, was better than the alternative was incorrect. He also regretted pushing Reyes into the No. 3 spot when he did. Manuel said he had no second-guessing about in-game strategy, nor did he believe he put self-preservation above other factors in making a decision.

Why were the Phillies able to overcome injuries whereas the Mets could not? Manuel didn't point to his rival having more depth at those positions or Philadelphia counterpart Charlie Manuel having players with more resolve. Instead, he suggested, the Phillies' deep rotation with Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels allowed them to overcome, or at least mask, other deficiencies.

"What would be the difference is that pitching was elevated there," Manuel said.

Of course, Oswalt was a trading-deadline acquisition. Does Manuel question why the Mets made no such moves to bolster their squad?

His response: While as a manager Manuel wanted players, he is not privvy to the GM-type concerns such as what the Mets might have needed to give up in return in a trade.

"Maybe the price was too high," Manuel said. "I don't know."

Manuel did address his coaches before Sunday's game, but had no such plans to speak with the entire team, he said.

"To prepare them for spring training is probably not mine to do at this point," he said.

ODDS & ENDS: Beltran is expected to visit the Colorado doctors who performed his surgery to review the latest developments involving discomfort in his right knee. ... R.A. Dickey, who is arbitration-eligible, might be open to a multi-year deal that includes a lower base salary in 2011 and gives the Mets more payroll flexibility for other maneuvers. Dickey is not expected to pitch Sunday. ... Reliever Elmer Dessens, who turns 40 on Jan. 13, said he intends to pitch in 2011 only if he gets a guaranteed major league deal with the Mets or elsewhere. He does not intend to be in a camp on a minor league deal. ... Catcher Henry Blanco, who turns 40 late next season, does intend to play next year. The Mets will need a righty-hitting backup catcher behind Josh Thole. ... Raul Valdes plans to pitch for Toros del Este in the Dominican Republic this winter. ... Jesus Feliciano plans to play winter ball in Puerto Rico for the Pat Kelly-managed team that is moving from Arecibo to San Juan. ... Chris Carter and Thole each are getting married during the offseason.

Jeff to Jerry: news after season

October, 2, 2010
10/02/10
12:01
PM ET
Jerry Manuel indicated chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon visited the manager before Friday's game as news swirled about the future. However, nothing was communicated about upcoming moves, according to Manuel.

"He came in the office and we spoke," Manuel said. "His thing is basically what he told me the whole time -- that we will talk after the season. We basically left it at that."

Jerry: 'Honest' thing to tell him fate first

October, 1, 2010
10/01/10
7:32
PM ET
Jerry Manuel said he has been given zero indication from his superiors his fate. And the manager suggested he ought to be told before the fate is whispered to media.

“That would obviously be the honest thing, or the integrious [sic] thing, to do,” Manuel said. “No question.”

And, Manuel noted: “I haven’t been told anything.”


Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Jerry Manuel likely is spending his final weekend as Mets manager.


Manuel, who has been fired once before, as Chicago White Sox manager, said this time doesn't feel like then -- when he knew the axe was coming.

“I don’t have the same feel that I had when I was let go by Chicago,” Manuel said. “I don’t know why. I’m just being honest with you. I just feel like there’s something here for me to do and it hasn’t been completed. I don’t know if I will get that opportunity, but I just don’t feel that I won’t.”

Although all indications are he will not remain, Manuel spoke of unfinished business.

“Obviously I like what I’m doing, and I love obviously the city,” Manuel said. “I love this environment. I look forward to hopefully getting the opportunity to help turn the franchise around. We’ve just had a couple of tough years, obviously. I think we have solidified some people as far as identifying and evaluating major league players that we think can compete for a championship. So this is what I love to do. It would be very disappointing if it doesn’t happen. Obviously, you have to understand what this is about and so forth. But this is something that I love to do. I really enjoy it.”

He suggested one regret is not having his full squad together for any length of time during his tenure because of injuries.

“Every team has those things, and definitely we were hit very hard,” Manuel said. “I think that would be probably the only thing I regret is that I never really had the piece that we had put together to last for a significant time. That would be the toughest thing for me to overcome personally. I don’t worry about my strategy, how I handle the team, blah, blah, blah -- all those types of things.”

Still, Manuel wasn't deflecting blame elsewhere.

“As the manager of the team, I’ve never not ran from blame or anything like that,” Manuel said. “I’m the manager of the team. I managed the pieces and the resources the best way that I could and it didn’t work out. We didn’t finish where we wanted to finish. I take responsibility for that."

Randolph hopes for another chance

September, 27, 2010
9/27/10
8:29
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NEW YORK -- Willie Randolph holds no grudge against the New York Mets after being fired as the team's manager in the middle of the night in 2008.

Instead, the Milwaukee Brewers bench coach is hoping that his experiences as a first-time manager in New York make him that much more prepared for a second opportunity, should it present itself.

"When I left here I really looked at it as an opportunity to grow, and for me the growth period for me being away a couple of years has been tremendous," Randolph said before the Brewers-Mets game was rained out at Citi Field on Monday night. "I went through some growing pains and all that kind of thing, but that experience was tremendous for me and now I'm just looking forward to hopefully getting another shot."

After his first at shot at managing with the Mets ended unceremoniously, Randolph is working toward getting a second chance to manage a MLB squad. With many managers, including the Mets' Jerry Manuel, on the so-called hot seat, a collection of teams could be looking for new skippers.

"I don't anticipate or have a feeling one way or the other how it's going to work out. But again, I think that I've proven to all the general managers and all the owners out there that I'm looking forward to and want to manage again," Randolph said. "It didn't work out here, but I'm looking forward to hopefully get the opportunity to do it in another place and take everything I've learned and try to apply that somewhere else."

Randolph, who served a member of the Yankees coaching staff for 11 years, managed the Mets from 2005 to the middle of the 2008 season, leading the team to the 2006 National League East crown and coming within one game of the World Series that season. He was fired on June 17, 2008, after the Mets won a 9-6 road game against the Los Angeles Angels. The Mets were 34-35 at the time.

Randolph finished at 302-253 as Mets skipper. His tenure also included the epic 2007 collapse where the team coughed up a seven-game lead to the Philadelphia Phillies down the stretch and missed the playoffs.

He's been the bench coach of the Brewers the past two seasons and said he has learned more of how to trust his instincts and take them into situations dealing with individuals and trying to get the most out of his players. He said the being a bench coach allows him to see the game from a different perspective.

"When you're a bench coach you see a lot more and you get to experience a lot more and get a chance to observe more and observation is important because a lot of the players have changed and the personalities are different," Randolph said. "When you get a chance to manage again, you tweak those things that you might not have seen or known before it could be hopeful."

Randolph admitted that he has still has a soft stop for some of the players in the Mets clubhouse, specifically mentioning David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes and Mike Pelfrey at different points.

When looking back at his time with Mets, Randolph thought that it went well and outside of not reaching a World Series, he felt he had an "impact" on the team. While the lack of a World Series appearance makes him feel like he didn't get the job done, he admitted that he might have been a victim of his own success after leading the team to such heights in its 2006 campaign.

Of course, since Randolph's departure, the team’s play has declined under Manuel, with a fourth straight October with no postseason ball. There’s a possibility that Manuel, along with general manager Omar Minaya, both could be fired in that scenario. While Minaya was the one who ultimately fired Randolph, his former manager still says the two have a bond and is hoping that things will work out for Minaya.

"Any time this type of stuff is going on around people that you know and like, you’re concerned for them or whatever or you hope that it works out for them because you just never know," Randolph said. "You hear rumors and people talk about things, but you don’t know until the dusk clears, but Omar and I‘ve told him this before. I’ve told him many times that I’m always rooting for him."

While Randolph waits optimistically for a call about a future managerial job, his former third baseman gives him a ringing endorsement. Wright spoke highly about Randolph, saying he taught him good lessons, and hopes to see him back with another team.

"Willie's been great to me and I would highly recommend [him] just as far as what he brings to the table as a former player," Wright said. "I think that I'd like to see him get a second chance somewhere because he’s a very good person and I think I’ll always have that special type of bond just from kind growing up in the game together with him."

Manuel applauds Utley

September, 25, 2010
9/25/10
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Jerry Manuel didn't directly contradict his players, but the manager sure sounded a lot more complimentary of Chase Utley's slide than condemning. Manuel before Saturday's game in essence said Utley's slide might have been a little late, but that's how it was done when Manuel was a player and how it ought to be done now.

Manuel brought up Hal McRae, Lonnie Smith, Don Baylor and Tony Graffanino as players whom second basemen never enjoyed seeing closing in.

"When you do that and play that way, it might take a while to get the response, because all you want to do is do the same thing. You want to basically play the same way," Manuel said. "I mean, that's how we did it back in the day. That was normal -- somewhat normal -- when we played. Now you don't do this and you don't do that. When we played, your best friend would say, 'Hey, here I come.' ... Here, any time a guy slides hard, you get a little ruffled or whatever. But that's how you have to play. For us to witness it or be a part of it, I think, is all good, because that tells the [Carlos] Beltrans, the [David] Wrights, the [Jose] Reyeses -- the older guys -- 'Hey, this is how they're going to play. This is how we have to do it.'"

Video: Jerry accepts apology

September, 21, 2010
9/21/10
11:45
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video Jerry Manuel accepts Joe Torre's public apology Tuesday. Manuel also discusses how he will manage the final 11 games after the Mets officially were eliminated from postseason contention with a 5-2 loss to the Florida Marlins.

Torre apologizes, says no interest in managing Mets

September, 21, 2010
9/21/10
8:15
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Joe Torre apologized publicly to Jerry Manuel, although the Dodgers skipper did not call his New York counterpart to relay his sorrow at speaking about a managerial job that is occupied.

ESPNLA's Tony Jackson relays the quotes from Torre:

"I apologize. He is right that I shouldn't have said that, and I don't think I did. Somebody asked me if I would take a call from [Mets owner] Fred Wilpon. I have known Fred Wilpon forever. I won't be managing the Mets, and I thought I made that clear yesterday. It was about taking a call as opposed to looking for a job. I went to New York to pay tribute to George [Steinbrenner]. If I was looking for a job, I probably wouldn't have gone to New York.''

Question: You said the other day that you never close the door on anything. Just to clarify, are you officially closing the door on ever managing the Mets?

"I guess you can call me a liar in that regard," Torre replied. "I am closing the door on managing the Mets and probably everybody else. The only thing I'm trying to do is that I don't want to mislead anybody. My intention is that when I finish here as a manager a week from Sunday, I am anticipating that will be my last game as a manager. I don't want to say I'm definitely not going to do this again, but that's only other [teams] aside from the Mets. ... I spent 12 years forging a relationship with those fans in New York. I don't want to all of a sudden go across the river and have them get mad at me.

"I apologize to Jerry Manuel and all the other managers. I don't blame them. I know they don't want to get stepped on I know in answering questions [Monday] and having a press conference, I know what my intention was. Unfortunately, I can't get on the other side of it and see how it's received. I would doubt very seriously if there would be anything that would entice me to manage again. This is pretty good duty out here, this franchise and this ballpark. I don't anticipate anything that would make sense for me to manage again.''

Hernandez homers after breaking foot

September, 18, 2010
9/18/10
9:15
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If only the rest of the 2010 Mets had the resolve of Luis Hernandez.

Hernandez lay on the ground writhing in pain with a broken bone in his right foot, the result of fouling a Tim Hudson fastball off the top of his cleat in the bottom of the fifth inning.

After he picked himself up off the deck, Hernandez hit the next pitch he saw from Hudson over the right-field wall. As he hit first base, Hernandez started to hobble and he slowly limped around the basepaths to complete his home-run trot.

“I guess the best way he could get around the bases was to do what he did,” Jerry Manuel said after the Mets’ 4-2 loss to the Braves on Saturday afternoon. “When he went around [the bases] that way, you had to feel like there was something definitely wrong with him."

The Mets announced during the game that Hernandez was taken to the Hospital of Special Surgery for evaluation. He was unavailable for comment after the game.

“When I came in after the game he was getting ice on his foot and I said, ‘I think that’s the first time I think I’ve ever seen anyone go down and sit there for ten minutes and then hit a bomb on the first pitch,'” Mets starter Dillon Gee said.

Hernandez was hitting .250 (11-for-44) in 17 games with the Mets before the bad break. The shot off of Hudson was only his third homer in 265 big-league at-bats.

There is no timetable for Hernandez’s return, but with a little over two weeks to go in a lost season for the Mets, it’s a safe bet to say the injury ended the 26-year-old’s 2010 campaign.

ALL CHOPPED UP: The Braves improved to 10-7 against the Mets this season with Satuday's win, which ensured them of another season-series win over their division rivals. That’s nothing new for Atlanta; the Mets' rival has won all but one season series with the Mets since 1998.

Maybe even more insulting to Mets fans is the fact that Billy Wagner collected his fifth save this against the not-so-Amazin's with a scoreless ninth. For his career, the former Mets closer has 16 saves in 20 chances against the Mets.

MEJIA ON THE MEND: Right-hander Jenrry Mejia said his sore right shoulder felt much better Saturday afternoon. He said the shoulder has been getting better every day since he was taken out of his start last Wednesday and subsequently diagnosed with a season-ending rhomboid strain of the right shoulder blade.

“The injury is feeling a lot better,” Mejia said, adding that team doctors told him the ailment is “not too dangerous.” He has been treating it with heat and ice.

REYES PAIN-FREE: Reyes has been battling a right oblique injury for most of the season. But the Mets shortstop has been healthy for nine straight games and pronounced himself pain-free on Saturday after going 2-for-4 with a run scored against Atlanta.

“It feels good right now,” Reyes said. “That’s the good thing right now, I don’t feel pain.”

ANGEL IN THE OUTFIELD: Angel Pagan was back in the starting lineup Saturday. He was held out of the lineup Friday after he arrived around 6:45 p.m. because he was dealing with a family medical issue. Pagan went 2-for-4 and has four multi-hit games in his last four starts.

Duda excited about first home run

September, 17, 2010
9/17/10
11:52
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NEW YORK -- Lucas Duda finally has something to smile about.

After collecting the first multi-hit game of his career Thursday night against Pittsburgh, the rookie hit the first home run of his career Friday night in the Mets' 6-4 loss to the Atlanta Braves. Duda had been in the midst of a 0-for-23 slump before breaking out the last two nights.

Duda hit a solo shot to right in the bottom of the fifth inning off Braves starter Tommy Hanson, giving him his second hit of the game and upping his batting average to .125. He also added an RBI single in the second inning.

"That was a pretty cool feeling," Duda said. "Off a tough pitcher, Tommy Hanson, he's got great stuff, and I was just looking to hit the ball yard, and the ball left the yard, and that was it."

Duda said that when he goes the other way with a pitch, as he did on his RBI single that gave the Mets a 1-0 lead in the second inning, it allows him to stay back on the ball and see it a bit longer. In his past two games, Duda is now 4-for-7 with a home run, two doubles and four RBIs.

"I think when he got his first couple of hits it was probably some relaxation," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. "Naturally, from what I understand from him, he's a guy that goes to left field very well. And earlier we saw a lot of pull swings from him and I'm glad to see him get the hit to left field. And once that happens, it kind of puts a guy like that back in the sink, and that got him on the track, so hopefully he'll stay on track for a while, he could be a run producer."

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.295 9 54 75
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 27
RBIL. Duda 83
RD. Murphy 75
OPSL. Duda .827
WB. Colon 14
ERAJ. Niese 3.55
SOZ. Wheeler 173