for this game

Wipeout: Rockies-Mets game postponed by rain

Jul 30, 2009 - 1:45 AM By MIKE FITZPATRICK AP Baseball Writer

NEW YORK(AP) -- After two hectic days of front-office chaos, general manager Omar Minaya and the New York Mets took a much-needed breather Wednesday at rain-soaked Citi Field.

They even got some potentially good news about one of their injured stars: Carlos Beltran.

New York's game against the Colorado Rockies was postponed because of rain Wednesday night and will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader Thursday. The regularly scheduled game will begin as planned at 12:10 p.m., with the makeup at 7:10 p.m.

Both teams kept their pitching rotations in order. Jason Hammel, originally slated to get the ball Wednesday, will start the opener Thursday against Mets ace Johan Santana. Jorge De La Rosa goes in the nightcap for Colorado against 22-year-old left-hander Jonathon Niese.

The rainout gave Minaya and the Mets a chance to exhale - and perhaps get off the back pages of the city tabloids for a day. It also delayed their attempt to extend a four-game winning streak, their longest since May 25-29.

The resurgence on the field, however, has been overshadowed by disorder in the front office.

The team fired vice president of player development Tony Bernazard on Monday for a series of highly publicized blowups. That messy news conference took a bizarre turn when Minaya questioned the motives and credibility of a beat reporter who had written several damaging stories about Bernazard, a top Minaya lieutenant and longtime friend.

The GM said New York Daily News reporter Adam Rubin had "lobbied" him and others in the front office, including Bernazard, for a job in player development. Rubin denied that he had asked Minaya for a job and insisted he had merely sought career advice.

Chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said Rubin had indeed asked him for career advice, and he didn't think there was anything wrong with that.

On Tuesday, Wilpon apologized for the club and acknowledged that Minaya made a mistake by singling out Rubin. Wilpon said Minaya would remain the GM but also put him on notice, saying "ownership is not happy with the direction of the team."

Minaya was at Citi Field on Wednesday but unavailable for comment, team spokesman Jay Horwitz said.

The tarp stayed on the field all evening and the game never began. It was called right at the scheduled start time, 7:10 p.m.

Beltran, wearing a brace on his injured right knee, took batting practice in the indoor cage Wednesday, something he said he's been doing for more than a week.

The All-Star center fielder, on the disabled list since June 22 with a bone bruise on his knee, hopes to return in two to three weeks, though that seems optimistic.

"The big test will be running outside," Beltran said. "I've been running in the pool pain-free."

Expanding his rehab program at his own request, Beltran has been doing other baseball activities, such as playing catch. He said his knee feels better than a month ago, even though his most recent MRI showed the bruise has not improved.

"Being able to come back 100 percent (this season) is something that's not going to happen," Beltran said. "I want to get back as soon as I can."

In other news, John Maine saw noted orthopedist Dr. James Andrews about his injured pitching shoulder. The Mets were waiting for results, Horwitz said.

Second baseman Luis Castillo plans to play the first game of the doubleheader Thursday, then leave the ballpark to be with his wife when she gives birth, Horwitz said.

NOTES: Mets RF Jeff Francoeur was in the posted lineup even though his left hand swelled up Tuesday night after he was hit by a pitch. X-rays were negative. ... The Rockies fell a half-game behind NL wild-card leader San Francisco when the Giants beat Pittsburgh 1-0 in 10 innings. ... Ian Stewart was slated to start at second base for Colorado, giving Clint Barmes a rest. "Just today. He'll be right back in there tomorrow against Niese," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said before the game was rained out. ... Francoeur glanced up at a clubhouse television and saw that Philadelphia had acquired 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee from Cleveland. "Oh, good. So we get to face Cliff Lee now. Awesome," Francoeur said sarcastically.