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Minaya: Phils the Team to Beat

Well, that's no fun.

New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya had a chance to tell the whole world the Mets are better than the Phillies, but he didn't fan the flames.

"We're not better than them, no," Minaya said. "Right now, they're world champions."

Wait, what? What is this? Reverse psychology? The Phillies are on to you, Omar!

"The only way you get to be better than them is to beat them," he said. "You've got to go out there and get it done. You don't win championships on paper. I've never believed in that. Do I think we've improved our club? Yes. But the bottom line is the Phillies have won the World Series and they won the division twice. They have a good team and the experience of being in playoffs and World Series - that is huge. So we have a lot of work to do."

Mets manager Jerry Manuel commented on Cole Hamels' "choke artists" comment, "That's his opinion. It probably adds a little fuel to it, which is a good thing. Anytime you can add fuel to the fire, it's good. Players have to be ready to respond and answer the bell. That's good, that's good stuff."


Inquirer and Daily News photographers David Maialetti, Michael Perez and Yong Kim will join myself, Bill Conlin, Paul Hagen and David Murphy for a Champions! book signing tomorrow from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble in Deptford (1553 Almonesson Road, Deptford, NJ).