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Wagner remarks spur Mets team meeting

Mets manager Willie Randolph called a closed-door meeting in response to the latest remarks by closer Billy Wagner, who said he was being critical of the media, not his teammates.

Mets manager Willie Randolph called a closed-door meeting in response to the latest remarks by closer Billy Wagner, who said he was being critical of the media, not his teammates.

With the Mets off to a 20-19 start following last September's collapse, questions about Randolph's future have come up on talk radio and in newspaper columns, although it apparently has not been a topic of debate in the executive suite. Randolph said there's no reason to shield players from the media tumult.

"I don't try to insulate them. I don't care that they know that my head's on the block or something like that. I mean, that shouldn't be their concern," he said before last night's Subway Series opener at Yankee Stadium was postponed by rain.

Asked as a follow-up whether he thought his job was in danger, Randolph said he wasn't speaking seriously.

"I'm not concerned about that," he responded. "I was just making just a joke, a tongue-in-cheek kind of thing."

Third baseman David Wright called the session a "heart-to-heart" in which teammates were encouraged to approach each other with criticism and not go through the media.

General manager Omar Minaya said Randolph's job wasn't in danger.

"I'm very supportive and continue to be supportive of Willie Randolph," he said.

Randolph talked yesterday with chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, but not about his job status.

"No need to do that. We just talked about the team and how we can get better," Randolph said.

Wagner sparked the meeting when he snapped to reporters following Thursday's 1-0 loss to Washington: "You should be talking to the guys over there . . . Oh, they're not there. Big shock."

Carlos Delgado left after Thursday's game without talking to reporters. Wagner was unhappy with the way his remarks were portrayed.

"Whoever wrote that I pointed out Delgado and was calling guys out is wrong. I don't call out anybody," he said. "We get along good around here. We lost a tough game and were a little frustrated."

Randolph has become accustomed to his closer's public remarks, even if he prefers that Wagner raise them internally.

"Billy is going to be honest and he's going to be straightforward when someone asks him the question. Sometimes Billy gets a little frustrated," Randolph said.

Meanwhile, last night's game is likely will be made up next month. It could be rescheduled as part of a two-ballpark doubleheader during the June 27-29 series, when the Yankees are scheduled to make their final trip to Shea Stadium.

In interleague games:

* At Baltimore, Luke Scott homered, Melvin Mora hit a tiebreaking double in the fifth inning and the Orioles beat Washington, 5-3, for their sixth win in seven games.

* At Cincinnati, Adam Dunn drew a bases-loaded walk in the eighth inning, scoring Brandon Phillips and giving the Reds a 4-3 win over Cleveland. Home runs accounted for five of the game's seven runs, with Dunn and Phillips both delivering solo shots.

* At Arlington, Texas, Josh Hamilton went 5-for-5 with two long homers and five RBI, and the Rangers beat the Houston Astros, 16-8.

* At Atlanta, Mark Kotsay knocked in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning with a two-out RBI double, and the Braves edged the Oakland Athletics, 3-2, for their eighth straight home win.

* At St. Louis, Andy Sonnanstine (6-1) carried a shutout into the eighth inning and added two singles to a 12-hit outburst in the Tampa Bay Rays' 3-1 victory over the Cardinals.

* At Denver, Nick Blackburn (4-2) pitched seven strong innings and Delmon Young doubled twice and scored two runs, leading Minnesota to a 4-2 win over Colorado.

* At Miami, Brett Tomko (2-4) pitched six innings for his first victory in nearly 6 weeks, as the Kansas City Royals extended their winning streak to five games by beating the Florida Marlins, 7-6.

* At Boston, the Red Sox game with Milwaukee was postponed because of rain. It was rescheduled as the second game of a day-night doubleheader at 8:35 tonight. The first game will start at 3:55 p.m.

In a National League game:

* At Chicago, Alfonso Soriano homered in his first two at-bats, Geovany Soto and Mark DeRosa went deep and the surging Cubs beat Pittsburgh, 7-4.


* Peter Magowan, the owner who brought Barry Bonds to San Francisco, built a new ballpark and kept major league baseball in the city, is stepping down as managing partner of the Giants.

* St. Louis put struggling closer Jason Isringhausen, who has an 8.00 ERA and six blown saves, on the 15-day disabled list because of a cut on his pitching hand. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported last weekend that Isringhausen hurt his right hand striking a television set in frustration in manager Tony La Russa's office.

* The players union has filed a grievance over the collapse of catcher Yorvit Torrealba's talks with the Mets last fall. Torrealba and the Mets reached a preliminary agreement on a $14.4 million, 3-year contract last November, a deal that was subject to a physical and never was publicly confirmed by the team.

New York said several days later it had ended negotiations with Torrealba, leading to speculation that a medical exam left the Mets with concerns about his throwing shoulder. Torrealba then re-signed with Colorado, agreeing to a $7.25 million, 2-year contract.

* Atlanta sent lefthander Chuck James to the minors for the third time and recalled reliever Phil Stockman from Triple A Richmond. James (2-3) was demoted to Richmond after getting tagged in Thursday's 5-0 loss to the Phillies. *