Wilpon, Minaya make trek to Atlanta

Wilpon, Minaya make trek to Atlanta

ATLANTA -- Hours after Jerry Manuel and the Mets dropped their fifth consecutive game in Miami, COO Jeff Wilpon and general manager Omar Minaya made an unscheduled trip to meet the team at Turner Field. Manuel, Wilpon, Minaya and assistant general manager John Ricco met behind closed doors for roughly 90 minutes Monday in the visiting manager's office.

The meeting, according to Manuel and Wilpon, was strictly a baseball discussion.

"I didn't come here to fire anybody," Wilpon said.

Nonetheless, the similarities were striking to the situation in Anaheim two years earlier, when Minaya took an unscheduled flight to meet the team and dismissed then-manager Willie Randolph shortly thereafter. Though Manuel does not appear to be in such imminent danger, the presence of Wilpon and Minaya indicates that he has stepped onto shaky ground.

"I wouldn't be here if I felt good about everything going on," Wilpon said.

Minaya declined to comment.

Wilpon and Minaya both plan on staying for Monday and Tuesday's games against the Braves, heading back to New York when the team flies north to Washington.

Through 38 games, the Mets are 18-20, losers of five straight after a seven-game winning streak in late April. For Manuel to survive the length of a contract that expires after this season, he will need to generate a more consistent winning atmosphere.

"I believe we'll turn it around," Manuel said. "I believe we'll play well."

"Jerry and Omar both know what's expected, and they're both working at it," Wilpon said. "We're 38 games into the season, right? If I was going to make a change this quick, I should have made it last year and we didn't do that. We're working towards getting this thing right."