NEW YORK - New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya wasn't happy that his team was eliminated from playoff contention with an 8-1 loss to the Washington Nationals yesterday, but he had time to praise the National League East champion Phillies.
"As much as you hated to watch them play, a part of you said, 'Man, these guys are really coming after you,' " Minaya said of the Phillies, who twice swept the Mets late in the season. "So I tip my cap off to the Phillies."
And he kept tipping his cap to them, especially to shortstop Jimmy Rollins.
"Talking of Jimmy, I don't want to tell you [the media] who to vote for MVP, but I tip my cap off to Jimmy."
And Minaya wasn't finished.
"You have to tip your cap to Charlie [Manuel], the injuries that they had," he said. "You've got to tip your cap to that whole organization. Yes, we didn't win, but let's not forget those guys over there, and you've got to give them credit."
Many of the other Mets were more restrained in their praise.
"They played well when they needed to play well," first baseman Carlos Delgado said of the Phillies.
Third baseman David Wright said the Phillies were opportunistic while the Mets were going 5-12 in their last 17 games and 1-6 in their final homestand. They held a seven-game lead over the Phillies on Sept. 12.
"Philadelphia took advantage of that and played well down the stretch," Wright said. "With the way we've been playing the last couple of weeks, we didn't deserve to go to the playoffs."
Contact staff writer Marc Narducci