Minaya now, as he did then, dismissed them with a line: "Willie has my support."
"I believe that he's going to get us to play better," Minaya said. "I have full confidence that he's doing everything he can."
That doesn't mean he'll be here all year -- Minaya wouldn't confirm that. But he did say that the current situation is "resolved," and that neither Randolph nor members of the coaching staff -- hitting coach Howard Johnson and pitching coach Rick Peterson were mentioned in the SI.com report -- had fallen into imminent trouble.
"I don't know what players think or feel, but I don't sense, coming from them to me, that that's bothering them in any way," Randolph said. "We need to just think about how we can win a game. That's what we should be thinking about only and totally."
So the most popular clubhouse sentiment found roots in the manager's office.
"We need to play better," Carlos Beltran said, echoing Randolph's phrasing.
Carlos Delgado's thoughts, exactly.
"I think we need to play better," Delgado said.
And that's been the more vexing problem for Randolph and his Mets. They are now 82-80 over their last 162 games, dating back to last June. They've won only three games this month, and have won three in a row only once since April. Now, having fallen 7 1/2 games behind the Phillies in the NL East, the Mets have entered into a precarious position.
Randolph will be charged with fixing that, and if he can, then the rumors will likely disappear. If they can't, he'll have to answer to them again and again. But for now, regardless, there is no change at Shea Stadium. There's just the status quo.
So Randolph, still dressed in blue and orange, patted his chest with both hands.
"You can see me," he said. "You can feel me. I'm still here."