As expected, a frustrating era ended for the Mets on Monday when the team let go manager Jerry Manuel and general manager Omar Minaya.
A crestfallen Minaya, 51, was reportedly close to tears when he said farewell to his players in the team’s clubhouse at Citi Field.
“I’ve been in this town long enough to know that you’re expected to win,” Minaya told reporters, agreeing that a “change was needed.”
“I think it’s the right decision,” he added.
While Minaya was fired outright, the Mets simply declined the 2011 option on Manuel’s contract. Manuel, 56, didn’t speak to reporters Monday.
After four straight years without a playoff appearance and downward spiraling attendance, the Mets determined that making changes was unavoidable. The Mets made the playoff just once in Minaya's six seasons. Last Thursday's loss ensured that Manuel would finish with a losing record this season despite a $130-million payroll, and Minaya was held accountable for a handful of bloated contracts.
Minaya is still owed $2.5 million over the remaining two years of his contract and may stay on with the team as a scout or adviser if asked by the next general manager.
Mets brass are looking for a replacement and said in a news conference they’re hoping to move quickly.
“The next general manager and manager is going to be make or break for this franchise,” said Mets blogger Matthew Falkenbury, of DailyStache.net.
Some Mets fans weren’t upset to see Minaya and Manuel go, calling the shakeup necessary for the franchise to reclaim its glory days. The Amazin’s haven’t won a title since 1986.
“We have great talent, we just need somebody to steer the ship,” said Lizandro Pacheco, 46, of the Upper West Side.