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.