Minaya looks on the bright side

Slow start? Last place? A reason to panic? Just fuhgeddaboudit.

New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya and the rest of the boys surely want to remain positive despite dropping two out of three to the Florida Marlins and Washington Nationals in the season's first week. "We would have liked to start better than we started, but we played some good games and came back in a game," Minaya told ESPNdeportes.com on Sunday night, while standing outside the walkway that leads to the locker room of the Big Apple's other disappointing white, blue and orange team: the Knicks. "I think that having Jose Reyes now, that helps out the team a lot."

The bullpen, viewed by many as one of the team's weakest links, was impressive throughout the first six games. Minaya liked the way 20-year-old rookie Jenrry Mejia performed out of the pen and was content with Raul Valdes, who made his Major League debut after defecting from Cuba in 2004 on Sunday.

"The bullpen pitched good," Minaya said. "Good to see the bullpen pitch good. The pitchers pitched good. Pelfrey pitched good. I think that's one of the positive things that came out this week."

Francisco Rodriguez echoed the same, stay-positive sentiment in the clubhouse after the game. "I think that the confidence and the self-esteem that we have has changed a lot," said the Mets closer, who viewed last Wednesday night's comeback as a positive sign despite the loss to the Marlins.

"Last year we were practically like you say on the floor. Now you walk in the clubhouse and you see a different clubhouse ... It's a positive first week. We have a lot of players settling down in the city, familiarizing themselves with the pitchers in our division, and well, it's positive even though we started with a negative record in the first week. We have the faith in God that everything will improve."

While Johan Santana was stellar in the season opener, the Nationals roughed him up Sunday but he remains confident. "At least we're healthy, and that's one of the most important points and a huge unknown that we had at the start of the season," Santana said.

Luis Castillo has been through the September free-falls, but he said he was looking forward to the road trip that begins Tuesday night in Colorado. "It hasn't been a good week for us," Castillo said. "We thought we were going to play better. We have to play better. Hopefully things won't keep going like that. We have to be more aggressive and play as a whole. We're going on a trip and we have to play better baseball. We have to play hard. Good things will come."

A version of this story originally appeared in Spanish on ESPNDeportes.com.